Steve Levitt on Ostrom's Nobel:
"The reaction of the economics community to Elinor Ostrom’s prize will
likely be quite different. The reason? If you had done a poll of
academic economists yesterday and asked who Elinor Ostrom was, or what
she worked on, I doubt that more than one in five economists could have
given you an answer. I personally would have failed the test. I had to
look her up on Wikipedia, and even after reading the entry, I have no
recollection of ever seeing or hearing her name mentioned by an
economist. She is a political scientist, both by training and her career
— one of the most decorated political scientists around. So the fact I
have never heard of her reflects badly on me, and it also highlights
just how substantial the boundaries between social science disciplines
So the short answer is that the economics profession is going to hate
the prize going to Ostrom even more than Republicans hated the Peace
prize going to Obama. Economists want this to be an
economists’ prize (after all, economists are self-interested). This
award demonstrates, in a way that no previous prize has, that the prize
is moving toward a Nobel in Social Science, not a Nobel in economics.
I don’t mean to imply this is necessarily a bad thing — economists
certainly do not have a monopoly on talent within the social sciences —
just that it will be unpopular among my peers."
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