Predictions for Nobel Prize for Economics 2008

Come October 13, 2008 and we will get to know who will get the Nobel Prize in Economics for 2008. One can see the process of nomination and the nominators here. The picking for a particular year begins as early as September i.e. for 2008 the process began in Sept 2007.

Usually by September of the award year economists and media start discussing the probable candidates. Thomson Scientific, quite successful in its predictions usually  starts off the list of probables but so far it has not taken out its list (It has released its 2008 predictions; see below in Addendum) . My previous post tells me it took out its list around Sept 27, 2008. So, the list must be anytime soon. In 2007, the award was given on 15 Oct 2007.

However, some predictions have started. Rediff has a neat presentation saying this time an Indian-born is expected to win the Prize. (pity we can only expect an Indian born economist to win a Nobel Prize as we hardly do any quality research in India) .

The list of probable Indian born economists is well-known and has been there for a long time – Jagdish Bhagwati, Avinash Dixit and Partha Das Gupta (Joseph Stigilitz’s favorite candidate).

It also points economists like Paul Romer, Robert Barro, Paul Krugman, Eugene Fama, Gene Grossman etc are also in the fray.

My pick: Jagdish Bhagwati as he has been on the waiting list for a long time and it might just get the Trade Agenda going.

Also Gene Fama/Kenneth French as most people who have contributed to development of financial economics have been awarded but their name is missing . Two kinds of people have contributed to finance. One who have worked majorly in the field like – Miller, Sharpe, Markowitz, Scholes, Merton and all have been awarded. And there is the second list who have contributed to finance either as a seperate work or indirectly- Samuelson, Tobin, Modgiliani, Akerlof, Stigilitz, Kahneman (his insihghts led to development of behavioral finance) etc. And again they all have been awarded.

However, Fama/French the persons who led to the development of Efficient MArkets Hypothesis, on which most of finance is based is still missing from the list. High time they are rewarded.

But again, I think Fama/French will be given a miss looking at the developments in fin markets. This way they might miss it every time as the financial markets keep collapsing now and then. Though I think it is the right time to award the duo and pass on the message that one can’t make money from financial markets forever, which is what the financial firms keep trying to do.

Markets are efficient and soon find their correct levels. Most markets may not be in the strong EMH category but are surely somewhere in the semi-strong category.  Fancy models etc may help you get some returns initially but not always. The problem is all the firms start doing the same thing after seeing returns made by someone and they all end up in a mess.

Most of the people get these basic lessons in their B-Schools but forget the fundamental lesson while in practice.

I will keep you posted on the other predictions.


1. I have a post analysing the Clark Medal and Nobel Prizes. Interested readers can take a look

2. Thomson Scientific has released is predictions for the year 2008. See the list here. This is a very different list from the rediff one. I only have read Martin Feldstein from the list. I have read a bit of Thomas Sargent and Chris Sims as well, but they are just too technical for me.

Martin Feldstein’s nomination is for his contribution in variety of fields where as others are for specific contributions.


Paul Krugman has been given the prize for 2008. See my post here


14 Responses to “Predictions for Nobel Prize for Economics 2008”

  1. Celal Says:

    The Nobel prize in Economics should go to Nouriel Roubini for correctly and successfully predicting the current financial crisis.

  2. Michel Says:

    Impressed by Roubinis writings these days I seached sites where he would be suggested or pushed as a Nobel Prize winner, and arrived here.
    After the US state and congress launching a 700 $ plan without taking in account economists analysis, time is for the Academy to use the economy prize with the same leverage effect expectation than the one the use with the peace prize.

  3. Freddie Says:

    My favourites (in order): Barro, Krugman, Romer, Dixit, Tirole and Alesina. But given the events, New Keynesians may get it (Mankiw and Blanchard?)..

  4. macrofan Says:

    What about Chris Sims for his work on VARs? They are now ubiquitous, both for structural analysis and forecasting.

  5. E.G. Wruck Says:

    Would love to see Alchian & Demsetz win the prize. As our property rights are continually eroded willy-nilly, it would be good to cast some light on this important topic.

  6. vhs Says:

    i go for paul romer first, but age may be a factor – did the nobel ever go to under 45 year-olds? so alchian & demsetz, marty feldstein, bhagwati, grossman. the price of fama’s classic textbook shot up to over 900 usdollars, is that a leak? – lol.

  7. Raman Says:

    This time the prizeshould go to finance area and my altime favorites are Gene Fama and Micheal Jensen. Another candidate could be K.R. French or Stefan Ross or Richard Roll.

    It has been long due for Prof. FAMA, who should have given before 2005.

    I vote for Gene Fama, Micheal Jensen and one from the list above..

  8. Anon Says:

    Douglas Diamond.

  9. kasimat Says:

    Ariel Rubinstein for his bargaining theory (its development and applications to market foundations). Too soon maybe?

    Not a prediction but I’d vote for Daniel Ellsberg. He was never a member of the academy, but his 1961 QJE paper is behind all of the the work in ambiguity/multiple priors (which includes some of Sargent’s recent work). It’s also a very early article in experimental economics.

  10. GVV Says:

    No meaning in giving the prize to finance theorists or market maniacs of the equilibrium variety. My vote goes to the post-keynesians who concentrate on Uncertainty,Expectations,Financial Instability and a variety of real world issues.Harcourt, Kregel, Davidson,Chick and so on deserve the prize.

  11. Mazhar Says:

    I think this time around the academy should give the prize to the regulatory economists!! Any pick?

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