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.


  • Central Bank Award Rodrigo Gómez

    Call 2022 (to be pubished)



Winner 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.

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.