Nobel Prize for Economics 2011 – Predictions

I was just reading some speeches on the Nobel Prize website only to figure that Nobel Prize for Economics to be announced on 1o Oct 2011 (Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is a more correct award name).

Was wondering who the winner/winners could be?

There are the perennial wait-listers like

  • 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
Last few years new names were added like John Taylor and Mark Gertler for monetary economics, Alberto Alesina for polito economic cycle, Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & John H. Moore for their famous model on credit imperfections  and Kevin M. Murphy for his all-round excellent work in economics.
Last year, the committee gave the prize to the trio for their works on one of the major issues of 2010 – unemployment. The issue remains unsettled and may be we have not learnt enough from their findings.
This year the theme for sure is debt and its significant rise. So would debt be the theme this year? I can immediately think of two econs who have done the most in this field- Ken Rogoff of Harvard and Carmen Reinhart of Peterson Institute for International Economics.
They have been talking about this rise in debt after the financial crisis in a series of papers since 2007 and in their amazing book This time is Different. Infact, Rogoff points in this interview how little data was there on debt before he started the project:
Actually, a major discovery in the book is a huge new data set on domestic debt, which had never previously been used in this literature. It might surprise you, but it is hard to find domestic debt data for any emerging-market country before 1990. (Bordo and Meissner, who present some data for 1880-1913, is an important exception.)
In this article they begged policymakers to share the data:
Like a pair of financial sleuths, Ms. Reinhart and her collaborator from HarvardKenneth S. Rogoff, have spent years investigating wreckage scattered across documents from nearly a millennium of economic crises and collapses. They have wandered the basements of rare-book libraries, riffled through monks’ yellowed journals and begged central banks worldwide for centuries-old debt records. And they have manually entered their findings, digit by digit, into one of the biggest spreadsheets you’ve ever seen.
Compared to Reinhart, Rogoff has been a heavy weight and has done some major work on central bank independence and international economics.
Who else has done pioneering work on debt? Thomas Sargent, Martin Feldstein do come to mind as well.
But then let me say upfront, this post is not suggesting Rogoff-Reinhart as suitable choices. I was just wondering what choices would Nobel Commitee look at..
My personal favorites would be Thaler/Shiller or Nordhaus / Weitzman as we clearly need more and more research on their important fields…A nobel prize does help promote research in the awarded area..
What do others think?
Update:
Thomson Reuters releases its 2011 list of predictions:
Interesting list for sure…Haven’t read Hausman and White at all…
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7 Responses to “Nobel Prize for Economics 2011 – Predictions”

  1. Leslie Clarke Says:

    I agree with the consideration of Shiller and Thaler. Infact, Professor Siegel and I have had discussions on the work of these two and there is a lot more to be done.

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    Give it to Professor William J Baumol

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