Wednesday, October 05, 2011

2011 Nobel Prize in Economics

A nice post on Mostly Economics on next week's announcement of the prize. Their list below of favourites seems a good one though there are clearly others one could add (Ernst Fehr, Angus Deaton, Richard Easterlin being names mentioned in different lists that are most relevant to the type of work we discuss here). Jean Tirole is also someone that must be on a shortlist somewhere. If I were to take an outside bet, the philosopher Jon Elster is someone who has had a big influence. Dont think its likely but, having said that, the committee has gone for people before who have influenced economics while primarily being based in another discipline.

"Jagdish Bhagwati, Avinash Dixit for international trade
Robert Barro, Paul Romer for growth economics
Oliver Hart for Transaction economics
William Nordhaus and and Martin Weitzman for Environment Economics.
Eugene Fama and Kenneth French for Financial economics
Robert Shiller and Richard Thaler for behavioral economics"

1 comment:

Martin Ryan said...

The Economist's Free Exchange blog has a good piece on this year's Prize for Economics:

The Nobel Race

Mentioned are Douglas Diamond, Jerry Hausman & Hal White, and Anne Krueger & Gordon Tullock: all in relation to the Thomson Reuters predictins.

Martin Weitzman, Paul Romer, Peter Diamond, Alberto Alesina
Lars Peter Hansen, Paul Milgrom (as well as Jean Tirole, Robert Shiller and Richard Thaler) are mentioned in relation to the Harvard Economics department's predictions pool.

Some interesting obervations from the Free Exchange piece are as follows: "Mr Hausman and Mr White are a particularly good wager. The prize has tended to shuffle between different branches of economics and the last econometricians to be honoured were Robert Engle and Clive Granger in 2003. Similarly Paul Romer and Robert Barro, pioneers of endogenous growth theory, would end a 24 year drought for growth theory since Robert Solow was honoured in 1987. However environmental economics has yet to be tapped at all. Martin Weitzman would be a strong favourite, as would Bill Nordhaus. Both have done work on the economics of climate change. Douglas Diamond, co-author of the influential Diamond-Dybvig model of bank runs, has been suggested in the last few years in light of the financial crisis. Jean Tirole is another good bet in this vein."

However, I am not sure if the selection committee is concerned with precedence or topicality. (They might be concerned with precedence if they care about championiong the extent of the discipline).

Furthermore, I suppose that the proclivities of the committee could vary from year to year. Well, we do know that committee members are elected for a period of 3 years; so each three-year cycle may be characterised by a certain type of thinking. Although, I don't think the whole committee is replaced all in one go; but rather that some new members come in each year.

And of course, most importantly, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is responsible for the actual choice of the winner from among the candidates recommended by the Prize Committee.

The Academy website (Royal Swedish Academy ) tells us that: "A knowledge-based society that gives priority to education, research and innovation has the best chances of meeting the future challenges. The Academy focuses on important social issues and appraises them from a scienctific perspective." So this suggests that the most topical candidate put forward by the Prize Committee should have an advantage.

This year, the selection committee is as follows: The Economic Sciences Prize Committee 2011. The Committee is also assisted by specially appointed expert advisers; but I think they remain anonymous. This injects more uncertainty into the process. I wonder however, if the expert advisers are likley to be former prize winners?

Finally, a possible winner (this year or sometime soon) with a potential Irish connection is Kevin Murphy (University of Chicago). I couldn't find anything on the heritage associated with his surname; but this was an interesting profile:
Kevin Murphy: UofC Magazine Profile