Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Who Will Win the Nobel Prize?

The highest award in economics, without doubt, is the Nobel Prize.  The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences is only a quasi Nobel, in that it was not established by the will of Alfred Nobel, but is recognized by the Nobel Foundation.  It is endowed by Sveriges Riksbank, which is the central bank of Sweden.  It is announced (at the earliest) the 10th of October every year and has been given out since 1969.

Peter Diamond at a press conference announcing his win in 2010.  (Photo: M.I.T.)
  Nomination forms are sent out every September and are due back by the following February.  Official nominations must include supporting evidence (working papers, journal articles, and books).  Nominators include members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, past laureates, and invited Professors.  The committee which votes on it, like other Nobel awards is comprised of Swedes and there can be said to be a slight selection bias towards Scandanavian economists, but not a substantial one.  They include: Tore Ellingsen, Robert Erikson, Per Krusell, Timo Ter√§svirta.  If there is a tie during a vote, the chairman, Bertil Holmlund will break the tie.

Here is a (long) list of people that I think could win the Nobel Prize in Economics:

Alberto Alesina (Harvard University)
Robert Barro (Harvard University)
William Baumol (New York University)
Jagdish Bhagwati (Columbia University)
Angus Deaton (Princeton University)
Avinash Dixit (Princeton University)
Eugene Fama (University of Chicago)
Ernst Fehr (University of Zurich)
Martin Feldstein (Harvard University)
Franklin Fischer (M.I.T.)
Kenneth French (Dartmouth University)
Gene Grossman (Princeton University)
Sanford Grossman (University of Pennsylvania)
Arnold Harberger (UCLA)
Oliver Hart (Harvard University)
Jerry Hausman (M.I.T.)
Nohubiro Kiyotaki (Princeton University)
David Kreps (Stanford University)
Anne Krueger (Johns Hopkins University)
Paul Milgrom (Stanford University)
John Moore (University of Edinburgh)
Kevin Murphy (Princeton University)
William Nordhaus (Yale University)
Marc Nerlove (University of Maryland)
Sam Peltzman (University of Chicago)
Richard Posner (University of Chicago)
Matthew Rabin (University of California - Berkeley)
Paul Romer (Stanford University)
Thomas Sargent (New York University)
Robert Shiller (Yale University)
Christopher Sims (Princeton University)
Nancy Stokey (University of Chicago)
John Taylor (Stanford University)
Richard Thaler (University of Chicago)
Jean Tirole (Toulouse School of Economics)
Gordon Tullock (George Mason University)
Martin Weitzman (Harvard University)
Robert B. Wilson (Stanford University)

People who do this every year seem to consider Eugene Fama the front runner for the past while, so he probably is again.  Robert Shiller is also a very famous and worthy economist that hasn't won.  Arnold Harberger is 87; I don't know if the committee takes that into consideration.  William Baumol is also very old but has done so much in economics, but I wonder if he was just passed over when James Tobin won in 1981.  Gordon Tullock would also be a good example of someone who has likely been passed over (James Buchanan, 1986).

If I were voting, I think I would give it to William Baumol for his work on the transaction demand for money and a lot of other solid works.

Please add your vote in the comments.  It can be any living economist.  Please list the reason you think that individual should win the Nobel.  I'll include the votes in my next poll.