Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Nobel in Economics is Coming Monday

Any thoughts on it? Boettke says Alchian and Kirzner (I think this is more of a hope than an expectation). Tyler Cowen provides a list as well (I think his Thaler and Schiller suggestion is especially likely). Any thoughts? I have no idea - I'm not that plugged in yet - but in the spirit of Boettke I'll say who I think it would be neat to see (even if unlikely): Mortenson and Pissarides for their work on search and matching. Also - what about John Taylor? He didn't make Cowen's list, but that seems like a reasonable one, doesn't it? All the other prizes this year seem to have very practical applications for their work, and Taylor certainly fits that mold. Cowen also mentions Bernanke as deserving, but as someone who will probably have to wait - I agree with that assessment. The current crisis has demonstrated how important Bernanke's work on financial mediation of monetary policy is.
Anybody else have any wishes or guesses?
Then again, they can always do what they did with the Peace Prize for Obama: award it to me even though I haven't done anything to deserve it yet, and I'll get up and reassure everyone that I'll work really hard to justify the award in the future.


  1. I like Tyler's list. I had heard that Ernst Fehr was the favourite, but we'll see.

    I'm also biased, but good to see Nordhaus and Weitzman up there. Nordhaus obviously did the pioneering work in the field of climate economics, but I think Weitzman has become the most important figure in environmental economics over the last few years (incorporating the role of uncertainty, etc).

  2. Taylor is a good pick. Although he might be subject to some of the same reasoning Tyler uses to wave off Barro/Alesina/Fama etc.

    They won't give another prize in trade for a long time, but I'd like to see a Bhagwati/Dixit prize. The timing of Krugman's prize is a travesty for the trade field given the ages of these guys. Krugman deserves it but his career is far from complete.

  3. Barro and Alesina I think would be fine, personally - but perhaps the politics plays a role. I think a lot of people have questioned the value of Fama's actual contributions after the crisis (I'm not qualified to evaluate the criticism) - which, if the Nobel committee agrees, would be a much harder criticism to recover from.

    I have some concern about Bhagwati which may be entirely due to my unfamiliarity... but what has he really contributed? Is there any new insight attributable to him? He seems to simply be making the same case for free trade that we've had for centuries. Which is not to say he's not a good economist - I'm just not aware of what he brought to the table. Should we give out Nobels like gold watches at retirmenets - simply because people have been successful economists for several decades?

    Dixit has done important work with Stiglitz on industrial organization, he has worked with Krugman on a lot of his advances in trade theory, and he's done a lot with institutional economics. I know a few things where I can say "Dixit thought that up" - I'm not sure what I could point to and say that of for Bhagwhati.

    You know, Stiglitz was another politically charged pick, but I think Stiglitz did more than enough to deserve a sole recognition like that. Krugman, I agree, probably did not. I think he still deserved it, but he probably should have earned it with Dixit in 2008.

    Were you at last year's SEA conference in San Antonio, by any chance? Bhagwati spoke there, and spent about half his speech ripping on Krugman - it was kind of embarassing to watch, actually (although many in the crowd like it). I don't know - maybe that has influenced my view of him. I see him as a great, but fairly conventional economist.

    Has he made a major contribution that I'm missing?


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