Central Bank Award Rodrigo Gómez

In order to honor the memory of Don Rodrigo Gómez (1897-1970), General Director of Banco de México (1952-1970), the governors of the Latin American central banks established an annual Award to promote the elaboration of studies that are of keen interest to central banks. This award has become a yardstick for research at a regional level.

It should be noted that beginning from the 2020 edition there were some changes to the call for papers. Notable among these changes is that the author or authors of the study or studies worthy of the Award or Honorable Mention automatically grant their copyright to CEMLA, in particular, to translate, edit and publish the winning research. This seeks to facilitate the publication of these articles in the Latin American Journal of Central Banking.






In order to honor the memory of Rodrigo Gómez (1897-1970), General Manager of Banco de México (1952-1970), the Governors of the Latin American central banks established the Central Bank Award Rodrigo Gómez to encourage research in areas of interest for central banks. The bases for the 2022 Award Edition are presented below.


The author(s) of the paper submitted to the contest must be a natural person, national of a Latin American or Caribbean country.1 Should the paper be written by two or more authors, at least one of them must be national of a Latin American or Caribbean country. No staff member from CEMLA may participate. Similarly, the author(s) of the paper submitted must be affiliated to a public, educational or multilateral institution. If the paper is written by more than one author, one of them may be affiliated to a private institution.

1 Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Curaçao and St. Maarten, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Eastern Caribbean States (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Granada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay.

Thematic and requirements

The topics of the papers must bear upon the functions and aspects of direct interest to regional central banks. Among other topics, papers on monetary policy, macroeconomic stability, financial stability, central bank operations, financial cooperation between Latin American and Caribbean countries, or the repercussions of international financial events on the region may be submitted.

No more than one paper per author will be accepted. If a paper is written by more than one author, each of them must approve the paper’s submission for the Award.

The submitted papers must be original and unedited and, in their final versions, written in the format of an academic article. They must not have been published either as a book or as a part of a journal or compilation (e.g., technical reports, institutional proceedings, conference proceedings), either in printed or electronic form; with the exception of the works that have been circulated at meetings, seminars, conferences or on websites, in printed or electronic form, as working papers for consultation during their preparatory stages. Author(s) of papers which have been available on websites will be requested to remove them from such sites. University degree theses, as well as papers submitted to the meetings of the Central Bank Researchers Network of this Center, may also be submitted to the Award, so long as they comply with the requirements in this call.

Papers should preferably be presented in English, although papers in Spanish, French or Portuguese will be accepted, accompanied by an English translation. The papers should not exceed 20,000 words or 50 pages (whichever comes first), including the cover, abstract, introduction, body, conclusions, and appendices or annexes.

No papers that have participated in previous editions of the Rodrigo Gómez Award may be submitted. Submitted papers may not compete for other awards or be under consideration by other publications until the authors have received a written notification with the results of each evaluation round indicating that their paper is free of such an embargo.

Jury and evaluation process

The panel of judges must comprise seven Governors of the central bank Associate Members of CEMLA’s Board of Governors, or their representatives; the Director General of CEMLA, or his or her representative; two ex officio members of CEMLA; and, if necessary, up to three additional members representing other Associate or Collaborating Members, renowned researchers, or both. In case of discrepancies in any evaluation(s), CEMLA will consult with the corresponding members of the jury and may act as the final evaluator. CEMLA will see to the administrative aspects of the contest. In case of a delay on the submission of any of the grades from the panel’s members, the final grade can be determined with at least 80% of the jury.

When remitting the papers to the members of the panel, CEMLA must suppress the names of the authors and assign a pseudonym to each submitted paper, which will be the only means of identification available to the panel in communicating the corresponding evaluations. It is the ultimate responsibility of the authors to ensure that the content of the text is anonymized.

The papers must be evaluated by objective criteria and mechanisms defined by the Board of Governors, in two different evaluation rounds. That said, prior to the first round, CEMLA will prescreen the papers that have a chance of being awarded. Once the first evaluation round has concluded, CEMLA will inform the authors if their papers were selected as finalists, that is, if the paper will be evaluated in the second round. The Board of Governors shall grant the Award based on the second-round results during its meeting in the second semester, after that, CEMLA will notify the outcome to all participants as well as to other interested parties.


The Award for the winning paper(s) will consist of the amount of ten thousand United States dollars and a diploma. In case of a tie for the first place between two or more competing papers, the monetary prize will be divided in equal parts among the papers, and for each of them, in equal parts among the authors. In addition, the Second Place Award will consist of the amount of five thousand United States dollars and a diploma. Honorary Mentions can also be awarded to up to two other papers. Honorary Mentions studies will be rewarded with a prize of one thousand five hundred United States dollars each. The same caveats on ties and co-authors are applicable to the Second Place Award and the Honorary Mentions. The result shall not be subject to appeal and the panel may declare the Award, the Second Place Award and/or the Honorary Mentions vacant if deemed appropriate.

The winner, or one member of the winning team, will be invited to present their paper at one of CEMLA’s activities. Travel expenses, accommodation, and travel insurance will be covered by CEMLA. The winning team must decide who will be the designated representative and inform CEMLA of its decision.


The author or authors of the study or studies deserving the Award, the Second Place Award, or the Honorary Mention(s) automatically grant the copyright to CEMLA, in particular, to translate, edit and publish the winning paper. While the publication of award-winning articles will be facilitated in the Latin American Journal of Central Banking, they must go through the journal's review process.

Paper submission

Participants must send their papers in a file in Word or PDF (in their most recent versions) together with a completed entry form (available here) by email to the address: rodrigo_gomez@cemla.org, by April 29, 2022, at the latest.

Other aspects not foreseen in this call for papers will be resolved by the CEMLA’s Board of Governors.

Winners of the 2021 Central Bank Award Rodrigo Gómez

CEMLA's Board of Governors decided to award the 2021 Central Bank Award Rodrigo Gómez to Román Antonio Acosta Rodríguez and Josué Fernando Cortés Espada for their study "Loans and Employment: Evidence from Bank-Specific Liquidity Shocks". In turn, the Board of Governors recognized Alfredo Villca Condori with the Second Place Award for his study "Commodity Prices, Bank Balance Sheets and Macroprudential Policies in Small Open Economies", and Javier García-Cicco with an honorable mention for his study "Alternative Monetary-Policy Instruments and Limited Credibility: An Exploration".

The first-place winning study, “Loans and Employment: Evidence from Bank-Specific Liquidity Shocks” explores the relationship between credit expansion and firms' employment decisions. To overcome the supply-side endogeneity of credit, it uses data on loans granted to firms and employment data from the Mexican Social Security Institute. It identifies bank-specific liquidity shocks caused by the prepayment of local government loans, which are subsequently channeled to firms through new credit. The study estimates the effect of the supply of new credit on employment expansion in the period between July 2009 and December 2018. The results point to a positive relationship between access to credit and payroll growth; in particular, a one standard deviation increase in new credit increases the number of employees by 2.57 percentage points. The magnitude of the effects is similar for all firms, but their reaction times vary according to firm size. Smaller firms have an immediate employment expansion upon receiving the credit, while larger firms take about 4 months to react. These results show the importance of the bank lending channel in stimulating short-term employment, particularly in smaller firms. In conclusion, the authors explore whether the mechanisms behind their results can be explained by differences in capital or investment intensity among firms, or whether they originate from competition in the corporate credit market. Their estimates suggest that policies promoting a more competitive corporate lending market could amplify the employment effect of credit.

The second-place winning paper, "Commodity Prices, Bank Balance Sheets and Macroprudential Policies in Small Open Economies" explores how important bank balance sheets are in the transmission of commodity price shocks to business cycles in Emerging Economies. In addition, it studies the role of macroprudential policy in dealing with these shocks. To this end, using quarterly series between 2001:Q1 and 2018:Q3, it formulates an empirical model (SVAR) and estimates it for six Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The SVAR results indicate that commodity prices have a positive impact on the business cycle and, under certain conditions, banks' balance sheets amplify the response of output to the commodity price shock. In particular, output increases by up to 0.98% when balance sheets are taken into account, while otherwise it only reacts by up to 0.67%. Subsequently, these results are rationalized with a DSGE model estimated with Bayesian methods for a small open economy with a banking sector and financial frictions based on Mendoza (1991), Correia et al. (1995) and Schmitt-Grohé and Uribe (2003). The DSGE model shows that, in the face of a positive commodity price shock, output expands by up to 3.77% when the bank balance sheet channel is considered, while in its absence it only expands by up to 2.75%, suggesting a gap of 1.02%. Moreover, following a series of shocks, bank balance sheets amplify expansions and deepen economic recessions, so that it is argued that business cycles are significantly affected by the presence of bank balance sheets. This can be explained by the fact that the growth of commodity prices in the international market allows banks in domestic economies to access external resources to finance domestic credit growth. In turn, the increase in credit has a positive effect on the flow of investment, which positively affects the capital stock and, consequently, output also expands. Finally, the effects of capital requirement regulations based on Basel II and III are analyzed. The results indicate that countercyclical macroprudential policies can mitigate the impacts of commodity shocks because they slow down credit and output growth, but also allow for higher welfare gains expressed in terms of consumption.

Román Antonio Acosta Rodríguez holds a PhD in Managerial Economics and Strategy from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (2021). He is currently working as a consultant.

Josué Fernando Cortés Espada holds a PhD in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (2006). He is currently Manager of Prices and Wages in the Directorate of Analysis on Prices, Regional Economy and Information at the Bank of Mexico.

Alfredo Villca Condori is a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank and a PhD candidate in Economics from the School of Economics and Finance at the University of EAFIT, Colombia, and holds a Master's degree in Economics from the same institution.

Javier García-Cicco is a full time Professor at Universidad del CEMA. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Duke University (2009) and a B.A. and M.A. from Universidad de San Andrés (Argentina).

The Board of Governors thanks Santiago García-Verdú, CEMLA Research Advisor (Commissioned by Banco de México), Serafín Martínez-Jaramillo, CEMLA Research Advisor (Commissioned by Banco de México), Juan Pablo Medina, Associate Professor at the Business School of Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, and Livio Stracca, Deputy Director General of International and European Relations of the European Central Bank, for their contribution as part of the invited jury in this edition of the Central Bank Award Rodrigo Gómez.

From their creation, in September of 1970 the award has been granted so far, to the following works:

Don Rodrigo Gómez (1897-1970)

He was a promoter of institutions. This was the first factor for explaining how he came up with founding CEMLA in 1952, then occupying a highly influential post at Banco de México. From this founding temple emerged other institutions that he helped establish. Such was the case for example of the Inter-American Development Bank which opened its doors in 1960, and many other bodies created at Banco de México aimed at fostering the country's economic progress. Through very skillful use of the public trust fund figure, during the time of Rodrigo Gómez, the Instituted Trust Funds Related to Agriculture were set up in 1954 and the Fund for Fostering Manufactured Goods Exports was created in 1960. These were followed some years later by other similar instruments for promoting social interest housing, industrial equipment and for developing areas of tourism. 

Another typical characteristic of Rodrigo Gómez was his vocation for Latin America. In honor of this characteristic, since 1958 he was assigned by the Mexican government to participate in sponsoring the Economic Commission for Latin America in work that would culminate in the creation of the Latin American Free Trade Association, LAFTA. In the specific area of central banking, the parallel idea was to create a multilateral payments system in the region. Since the corresponding work began, the Mexican representative stood out because of his intellectual capacity as well as his great dedication to encouraging economic integration among Latin American nations. He devoted himself to this ideal with great commitment, promoting it at many forums and negotiating platforms. 

The other factor explaining why Rodrigo Gómez encouraged the establishment of CEMLA was the interest he always showed in developing human resources at central banks. Being aware of the fact that the soul of these institutions mainly consists of the people who work at them and who give them their political and social dimensions, Rodrigo Gómez always paid great attention to the creation of professional teams at Banco de México. His children, as Rodrigo Gómez affectionately referred to young professionals with the highest potential, received the opportunity to study at the best universities in the country as well as abroad. Subsequently, under his careful guidance they excelled themselves in the performance of their growing responsibilities. 

CEMLA was a kind of legacy from Banco de México and Rodrigo Gómez, on an individual level, for the benefit of the central banks of Latin American countries.  It was a task that needed to be carried out with utmost diligence, improving CEMLA in order for it to become stronger and be as useful as possible. That wise and pragmatic Nuevoleonese instigator used to say that once the cart gets moving the pumpkins fall into place (things have a way of working themselves out). This commitment explains all the support CEMLA received from Banco de México, above all during its initial phase. The latter list importantly includes the help it received for obtaining its first premises and later in order for it to have its own head offices.  It is also worth mentioning the budgetary support and the willingness to allow technicians from Banco de México to collaborate in teaching and research work.