Archive for the ‘Medals and awards’ Category

Nobel Peace Prize 2012 to European Union

October 12, 2012

Hoping to hear some interesting comments on this. Nobel Peace committee has surprised giving peace prize for 2012 to European Union:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 is to be awarded to the European Union (EU). The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

In the inter-war years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee made several awards to persons who were seeking reconciliation between Germany and France. Since 1945, that reconciliation has become a reality. The dreadful suffering in World War II demonstrated the need for a new Europe. Over a seventy-year period, Germany and France had fought three wars. Today war between Germany and France is unthinkable. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners.

In the 1980s, Greece, Spain and Portugal joined the EU. The introduction of democracy was a condition for their membership. The fall of the Berlin Wall made EU membership possible for several Central and Eastern European countries, thereby opening a new era in European history. The division between East and West has to a large extent been brought to an end; democracy has been strengthened; many ethnically-based national conflicts have been settled.

The admission of Croatia as a member next year, the opening of membership negotiations with Montenegro, and the granting of candidate status to Serbia all strengthen the process of reconciliation in the Balkans. In the past decade, the possibility of EU membership for Turkey has also advanced democracy and human rights in that country.

Why the prize despite eco difficulties:

The EU is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest. The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU’s most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights. The stabilizing part played by the EU has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.

The work of the EU represents “fraternity between nations”, and amounts to a form of the “peace congresses” to which Alfred Nobel refers as criteria for the Peace Prize in his 1895 will.

 Well who knows whether economic unrest will actually challenge the concept of Union itself.

EU chief Barroso responds:

MO: What message do you think this prize sends to the world?

PB: I think the most important message this prize sends to the world is that the European project and the European Union is something we must cherish. Something very precious, not only for us in Europe, but also the rest of the world. Because the European Union is, in fact, the result of a project for peace that brought together nations emerging from the ruins of the Second World War. It was the European Union that united them in peace around the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, justice, rule of law and respect for human rights.

And the European Union was able to do it through separate national institutions representing the common European interests. So it is indeed a unique project, that is a source of inspiration for many people around the world that are for people that are precisely admiring this project of peace. And also, the values that are so important. We are also proud of the European Union, that we are the world’s largest provider of development and humanitarian assistance. And that we are at the forefront of global efforts to protect our planet and to promote global public good. So I think that it is indeed a great honour for the European Union for all its 500 million citizens, for all its member states, for the European institutions. It is a justified recognition of for this unique project that has brought peace to our continent. It is a source of inspiration for citizens all over the world.

All one cay is all the best to Nobel Committee and EU officials..


The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel – Predictions for 2012

September 19, 2012

Every October of the month the buzz and excitement shifts to Stockholm for Nobel Prize announcements. There is tremendous excitement for the top econ prize as well. Based on this blogpost we should be careful while calling it Nobel Prize in economics. It is a prize in memory of Alfred Nobel and this distinction is important.

Robert Johnson of Anne Klein Communications Group alerts me to this annual prediction list by Thompson Reuters.

Their three predictions  for econ are (Econ prize to be given on Oct-15-12):

  • Sir Anthony B. Atkinson of Oxford University and Angus S. Deaton of Princeton University “for empirical research on consumption, income and savings, poverty and health, and well-being”
  • Stephen A. Ross  of Massachusetts Institute of Technology  “for his arbitrage pricing theory and other fundamental contributions to finance”
  • Robert J. Shiller of Yale Univ  “for pioneering contributions to financial market volatility and the dynamics of asset prices”

More details are there in the press release..

I doubt whether Prof. Ross or any finance guys can win as of now. Shiller is different..

Atkinson and Deaton are a great pick..Inequality and well-being is the top hot topic these days..And the award has been giving recently based on current issues..

What do guys think?

Impact of Nobel Prize Winners in Economics: Mainline vs. Mainstream

November 9, 2011

Peter J. Boettke, Alexander Fink and Daniel J. Smith divide Economics Nobel Prize winners into two types – Mainline and Mainstream.

Mainline are theoretical types which have build on the legacy of Adam Smith and Ricardo. Mainstream ones work on areas which are fashionable and could be far off from the mainline economists:


A prize to propose a plan for orderly exit of a Eurozone member state

October 19, 2011

THis will not amuse the EMU leaders one bit.

UK’s Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust has announced a plan (FT write-up as well for the subscribers). The plan is for academic economists who can draw a plan which will help EMU economies exit from the Eurozone without much pains! The prize is worth 250,000 GBP and is the second highest prize money to an academic economist after Nobel Prize.

Policy Exchange, an independent think-tank will manage this prize:


Nobel 2011 goes to Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims

October 10, 2011

The blog post on predictions did mention Sargent but missed on Sims. Both have been on the perennial waiting list.

Anyways, both have got the prize for 2011:

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2011 was awarded jointly to Thomas J. Sargent and Christopher A. Sims “for their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy”

Sargent is from NYU and Sims from Princeton..

As always useful stuff from Nobel Website on their works:


Nobel Prize for Economics 2011 – Predictions

September 6, 2011

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?


Nobel Prize Economics 2010 goes to Peter Diamond, Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides

October 11, 2010

The list is out. The  trio gets for their for their analysis of markets with search frictions.

Why are so many people unemployed at the same time that there are a large number of job openings? How can economic policy affect unemployment? This year’s Laureates have developed a theory which can be used to answer these questions. This theory is also applicable to markets other than the labor market.

On many markets, buyers and sellers do not always make contact with one another immediately. This concerns, for example, employers who are looking for employees and workers who are trying to find jobs. Since the search process requires time and resources, it creates frictions in the market. On such search markets, the demands of some buyers will not be met, while some sellers cannot sell as much as they would wish. Simultaneously, there are both job vacancies and unemployment on the labor market.

This year’s three Laureates have formulated a theoretical framework for search markets. Peter Diamond has analyzed the foundations of search markets. Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides have expanded the theory and have applied it to the labor market. The Laureates’ models help us understand the ways in which unemployment, job vacancies, and wages are affected by regulation and economic policy. This may refer to benefit levels in unemployment insurance or rules in regard to hiring and firing. One conclusion is that more generous unemployment benefits give rise to higher unemployment and longer search times.

Search theory has been applied to many other areas in addition to the labor market. This includes, in particular, the housing market. The number of homes for sale varies over time, as does the time it takes for a house to find a buyer and the parties to agree on the price. Search theory has also been used to study questions related to monetary theory, public economics, financial economics, regional economics, and family economics.

Here are the links from the website:

  • Summary
  • Prize Announcement
  • Press Release
  • Popular Information
  • Advanced Information
  • Lots of comments and insights on the web/blogs:

    Nobel Prize for Economics 2010 Predictions

    September 5, 2010

    On visiting Nobel Prize website, I found out that this year economics prize will be given on October 11, 2010(Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is a more correct award name).

    Who will win it this time?

    I havent come across any website/link predicting some picks. Thomson Reuters come out with a list but it is towards late September. Other bloggers/economists will come out with a list as the award date nears.

    Last year, couple of choices cropped up and most popular on the list were William Nordhaus (Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University) and  Martin Weitzman ( Professor of Economics, Harvard University) fo their work on Environment Economics.  Then names of Fama/French, Shiller/Thaler etc were also on the list.

    Lat year I also said this which is apt even now:

    This year’s award is going to be interesting as world  economy goes through sharpest recession/crisis since Great Depression. The crisis  has seen nearly every modern eco theory/idea coming under severe scanner.  So, any pick will be a challenge for the Commmitee.The last time such a challenge was faced is for 1998. In 1997 the nobel prize was given to Scholes and Merton for Option Pricing Theory. The duo were partners st LTCM which collapsed in 1998 leading to much criticism for the award. It was then given in 1998 to Amartya Sen whose candidature was seen as non-controversial and was long-pending.

    This time the challenge is much more given the severity of the crisis. Would it be someone from Institutional Economics to stress on their importance? Or someone from  Environmental Economics to push research/thinking in this very important concern? I really don’t know.

    The award was finally given to Ostrom and Williamson for their work on commons and institutions. So in a way I was kind of right.

    The same situation applies even now and infact it is quite worse. So many economists have come forward criticising state of economics and calling it dark age of economics.  So, big resurrection is needed and non-controversial names to be picked. Given the choices available, environmental economics looks the safest bet.

    I will keep pointing to links etc as soon as others chip ion with their predictions as well. Vistors to this blog, kindly respond. Who do you think will take the award in these pressure times in field of economics?


    Thomson Reuters comes out with its 2010 predictions:

  • Alberto Alesina
    Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economics, Department of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA USA
    Why: for theoretical and empirical studies on the relationship between politics and macroeconomics, and specifically for research on politico-economic cycle
  • Nobuhiro Kiyotaki
    Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Princeton University, Princeton NJ USA
    Why: for formulation of the Kiyotaki-Moore model, which describes how small shocks to an economy may lead to a cycle of lower output resulting from a decline in collateral values that creates a restrictive credit environment
  • John H. Moore
    George Watson’s and Daniel Stewart’s Professor of Political Economics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, and Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, London School of Economics, London, England
    Why: for formulation of the Kiyotaki-Moore model, which describes how small shocks to an economy may lead to a cycle of lower output resulting from a decline in collateral values that creates a restrictive credit environment
  • Kevin M. Murphy
    George J. Stigler Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Chicago, IL USA, and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford CA USA
    Why: for pioneering empirical research in social economics, including wage inequality and labor demand, unemployment, addiction, and the economic return of investment in medical research, among other topics
  • Interesting choices again. Though I doubt whether Alesina will make it. He has lately been in the news for his analysis and comments that fiscal consolidation leads to growth. But there is no doubt that his work on political economy is very good.

    Kiyotaki and Moore’s works are much in demand after this crisis. They truly deserve it for shaping the macro-finance models and linking financial cycles to macroeconomic ones.

    Murphy is an interesting and different choice. A great mind who has linked economics with many different fields.

    Thomson Reuters has also released a pending list and each one could get as well:

    •2002-2005: Robert J. Barro; Eugene F. Fama and Kenneth R. French; Paul Michael Romer; Richard H. Thaler
    •2006: Jagdish N. Bhagwati and Avinash K. Dixit; Dale W. Jorgenson; Oliver D. Hart and Bengt R. Holmstrom
    •2007: Elhanan Helpman and Gene M. Grossman; Jean Tirole; Robert B. Wilson and Paul R. Milgrom
    •2008: Lars P. Hansen and Thomas J. Sargent, and Christopher A. Sims; Martin S. Feldstein; Armen A. Alchian and Harold Demsetz
    •2009: Ernst Fehr and Matthew J. Rabin; William D. Nordhaus and Martin L. Weitzman; John B. Taylor and Jordi Gali and Mark L. Gertler

    That is quite a list. May the best one win.


    As it is very year, there is a lot of discussio on the topic. So many people have written their predictions on the post. From comments Daron Acemoglu seems to be very popular.

    • Tyler Cowen makes his predictions.
    • iPredict website is running contracts to predict the winner. So far, Shiller and Thaler are leading the list.Shiller’s probability is 30.10% and Thaler is at 28.2%. (HT: MR)

    How do Nobel Laureates get path breaking ideas?

    August 23, 2010

    Karen Ilse Horn of Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln in Germany has this interesting paper on the topic. Thanks to this interview of Milton Friedman interview I found Mont Pèlerin Society. I researched a bit and got a few papers.   


    Esther Duflo wins Clark Medal 2010

    April 24, 2010

    As I said y’day, Esther Duflo of MIT won Clark Medal for 2010. AEA has a short profile of her work.

    Esther Duflo has distinguished herself through definitive contributions to the field of Development Economics. Through her research, mentoring of young scholars, and role in helping to direct the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT, she has played a major role in setting a new agenda for the field of Development Economics, one that focuses on microeconomic issues and relies heavily on large-scale field experiments. Much of her work addresses questions of politics, gender, and education. She has written extensively on India, but has also studied Indonesia, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, and Kenya. This bio summarizes some of the highlights of her research.

    Some links:

    NYT Economix Blog
    WSJ Blog
    Tyler Cowen

    Clark Medal 2010 predictions

    April 23, 2010

    American Economic Association will present the John Bates Clark medal today (23 April 2010). It is awarded to the most promising US based economist under the age of 40. It was a biennial award so far but last year it was decided that it would be given every year.

    WSJ Blog has a probable list –

    Looks like a fight between Harvard and MIT this year. I think it could be Duflo this time as she has been in the list for a long time. But you never know there could just be a surprise.

    Check out this list of Clark and Nobel prize Winners

    Nobel Prize Lecture 2009

    December 16, 2009

    The Nobel Prize Lectures of Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson have been put on the Nobel Prize website.  Ostrom’s lecture is put up as a video and Williamson’s lecture has both Video and ppt slides

     I was just going through Williamson’s slides. It makes a good reading on how he came about his main ideas.

    But I prefer to read the Prize lectures in a proper written text format. The Prize Committee first puts up videos and some winners share their ppt slides. It is much later that the text format lecture is added.  I just realised Krugman’s lecture has just been added recently. But these do not give the complete flavour. You cannot also imbibe much watching videos or seeing ppt slides. The lectures also serve as a very useful literature survey on the winner’s main papers, ideas, thoughts, synchronisation with previous ideas etc. One keeps referring to these lectures oft and on.

    So am waiting for the proper speech text. Till then see whatever is available.

    Paul Samuelson RIP

    December 14, 2009

    Paul Samuelson passed away on Sunday, 13 Dec 2009. Many tributes paid to the great economist:

    I was the first journalist, he said, come to see him in many years. As were talking, a young student poked his head in through the door, slid a package on to his table, and said, “Hi, Paul, will you give this to Bob?”

    The Bob in question was another Nobel winner, Robert Solow, whose room was next to Samuelson’s. “This is what I do these days,” said the Great Man. “You know, young man, you come from a very good country. Unlike here human capital depreciates very slowly there.”

    It is really sad. For anyone who studies economics in Delhi University, Samuelson works’ is a staple diet. Be it anything-  microeconomics, macroeconomics, public finance etc, his works act as references everywhere. On studying finance, one realises most financial economics is also because of his ideas. His book “Economics” was always used to understand the tough topics. If a particular topic was just too difficult to understand, refer Samuelson, get some ideas and then try and write on it in the exam.


    Paul Samuelson’s 2 pieces on Nobel Prize website are very interersting read. How he became an economist?

    From one point of view my studying economics was the result of accidental blind chance. Prior to graduating from high school I was born again at 8:00 a.m., January 2, 1932, when I first walked into the University of Chicago lecture hall. That day’s lecture was on Malthus’s theory that human populations would reproduce like rabbits until their density per acre of land reduced their wage to a bare subsistence level where an increased death rate came to equal the birth rate. So easy was it to understand all this simple differential equation stuff that I suspected (wrongly) that I was missing out on some mysterious complexity.

    Luck? Yes. And all my life I have been at the right place at the right time. Chicago was at that period the top center for old-fashioned neoclassical micro-economic study. But I didn’t know that; my reason for entering there was simply because the University of Chicago was close to my high school and home. Later when I was bribed to leave the Eden of the Chicago womb, choice boiled down to either the Harvard or the Columbia Graduate School. My revered Chicago mentors–Frank Knight, Jacob Viner, Henry Simons, Paul Douglas, …–without exception said, “Pick Columbia.” Never one to blindly accept adult advice, I picked Harvard. I picked it by miscalculation, expecting that it would be a little oasis on rolling green hills.

    That is just too modest.

    Why Nobel Economics Laureates chose economics?

    November 4, 2009

    I came across this interesting paper from William Breit and Barry Hirsch which looks at above question:

    This paper uses as source material twenty-three autobiographical essays by Nobel economists presented since 1984 at Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas) and published in Lives of the Laureates (MIT Press). A goal of the lecture series is to enhance understanding of the link between biography and the development of modern economic thought. We explore this link and identify common themes in the essays, relying heavily on the words of the laureates. Common themes include the importance of real-world events coupled with a desire for rigor and relevance, the critical influence of teachers, the necessity of scholarly interaction, and the role of luck or happenstance. Most of the laureates view their research program not as one planned in advance but one that evolved via the marketplace for ideas.

    In short it tells you why these winners of Nobel economics prize (Economic Prize in the memory of Alfred Nobel is more politically correct) took up economics, what drove them, the key inquiries of economic thought they were looking for etc etc. And all this is basically analysing their autobiographical essays.

    Here are a few points:

    • Few wanted to become an economist to begin with- James Tobin, Vernon Smith, William Sharpe, James Heckman
    • Some took up economics as alternative plans were closed or not worth it – Arthur Lewis, John Harsanyi
    • Some dont like calling themselves an economist – Clive Granger, (even Coase says so in his nobel lecture)
    • Role of Great Depression in taking up economics- James Tobin, Paul Samuelson, Robert Solow)
    • Some looked for current issues – Gary Becker, Edmund Phelps
    •  Role of Mentors/Teachers (Mentors mentioned in brackets; most cite Milton Friedman as well) -Myron Scholes (Prof McIver), James Buchanan (Frank Knight), Ed Prescott (Robrt Lucas),
    • Some got learning mostly from outside classrooms- Tobin
    • Importance of Work environment – Stigler, Klein and Sharpe (Klein adds his group was the best ever in economics producing 4 Prize winners) 
    • Role of luck – Friedman, Becker
    • Research evolved in search for ideas – Coase, Buchanan and Samuelson

    The authors then point autobios help understand many aspects of these winners which is difficult to understand otherwise. The stories of Heckman, Lucas, Schelling are quite inspiring.

    Finally why Milton Friedman took up economics?

    Initially, Friedman had planned to choose mathematics because he liked the subject. The Great Depression was under way, though, and Friedman was intrigued by what he called “the paradox of great need on the one hand and unused resources on the other.” Moreover, making the decision process more difficult, he had offers of financial aid from two universities—one for the study of mathematics at Brown, and the other to study economics at Chicago. The final decision came down almost to the toss of a coin. Economics and the puzzle of the Great Depression won out. 

    In  his autobiographical lecture he attempts to explain his choice. To do so he quotes Robert Frost’s famous poem “The Road Less Traveled.”

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    I took the one less traveled by.
    And that has made all the difference.

    And yet, reference to the Frost poem does not seem appropriate in his case. During the Great Depression, when Friedman entered college, economics was not the road “less traveled by.” To the contrary, it was among the most popular of majors. He said he chose economics because of its relevance to the issues of the day, as with so many others of his generation. But this leaves us with a mystery. What is the relevance of Frost’s poem? Why did he quote it?

    Perhaps the choice of the poem reveals something about Friedman that was hidden from him when he quoted its words. Even if entering economics during the Great Depression was not really taking the road less traveled, nevertheless Friedman’s subsequent career persistently took him along untrampled pathways within economics. Was this a conscious decision?

    For in his attempt to answer questions posed by the depression, Friedman stood apart and almost alone. He rejected the Keynesian solutions that the overwhelming majority of the profession had come to accept. Friedman lived long enough to see many of his ideas become the consensus view of a younger generation of economists. Because he was different, he attracted attention; his persuasive powers, style, and charisma did the rest. For Friedman, the road less traveled indeed “made all the difference.”

    🙂 Only Friedman knows the real answer but all this sounds quite good. This is an interesting Friedman – Frost connection. The impact of Milton Friedman on field of economics and economists was simply amazing.

    Elinor Ostrom becomes the first Woman to get Nobel Prize for Economics

    October 12, 2009

    So the award is finally out. It goes to Oliver Williamson (of UC Berkeley) and Elinor Ostrom (of Indian Univ) for their work on governance. Most predictions I have seen got it wrong. I don’t want to take any credit but had mentioned instituional economics in my predictions post. When I said instiutional economics it was very much Williamson that was on my mind. 

    What is more amazing is Elinor Ostrom ( of Indiana Univ) becomes the first woman to get Eco Nobel. What is more embarrassing is  I haven’t read any of her work. This is like 2007 for me when I woke up to mechanism design theory.

    Press Release says:

    Elinor Ostrom
    Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA,

    “for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons”


    Oliver E. Williamson
    University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA,

    “for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm”

    There is basic information for the public and advanced information for the budding economists/other interested. Both are usually excellent and something I wait more than the name of the recepient. It teaches you so much. It would be out with a speed read soon. Speed read is here

    I would post more as I find out more about their work. I have read a bit of Williamson. Someone told me when North/Fogel got it in 1993 some people cringed that Williamson didn’t get it. And would have to wait longer. It took 16 years!!

    Now get on to some reading.


    As expected there is tons of material. And quite a few top econs are not familar with the work of Ostrom. Ostrom has created a storm really.

    Obama gets Nobel peace prize 2009

    October 9, 2009

    This is an amazing piece of news. Nobel Committee has decided to award 2009 Peace Prize to the US President- Barack Obama. The award is for:

    “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”
    The press release is here.

    The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

    Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

    Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.

    For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”

    I read somewhere he has been in reckoning for a while. To get it at this point of time when he has just become US president in 2009 is great stuff. What a year for Obama. The US also seems to be easing out of the Great Recession.
    This also puts Obama under severe pressure. As the President of the US, he needs to keep doing his good work. This is a great honor and all eyes would be on him. May be the Nobel Committee awarded him the prize just now, so that the pressure is always on. 
    Whoever I am breaking this news to say- What for?? Some have even called it strange choice. Someone even said may be they had no choice this time.
    I am sure this prize is going to be debated left, right and centre. 

    Nobel Prize for Economics 2009 Predictions

    September 11, 2009

    Update: It has been awarded to Oliver Williamson and Elinior Ostrom for their work on institutions and governance. I was just seeing all the predictions and links on this post. Tyler Cowen got one half right (Williamson, Tirole would have to wait longer). Few others have also predicted Williamson.

    < p>As I enjoy my vacation, I see a few searches in my blog looking for predictions for Nobel Prize for Economics for 2009 (Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is a more correct award name). This year’s award is to be announced on 12 Oct 2009 . I havent come across any website/link predicting some picks. Usually Thomson Reuters comes out with a list towards the end of the September. It has come out with a list see below.

    This year’s award is going to be interesting as world  economy goes through sharpest recession/crisis since Great Depression. The crisis  has seen nearly every modern eco theory/idea coming under severe scanner.  So, any pick will be a challenge for the Commmitee.The last time such a challenge was faced is for 1998. In 1997the nobel prize was given to Scholes and Merton for Option Pricing Theory. The duo were partners st LTCM which collapsed in 1998 leading to much criticism for the award. It was then given in 1998 to Amartya Sen whose candidature was seen as non-controversial and was long-pending.

    This time the challenge is much more given the severity of the crisis. Would it be someone from Institutional Economics to stress on their importance? Or someone from  Environmental Economics to push research/thinking in this very important concern? I really don’t know.

    Visitors/Readers please comment.


    • Tyler Cowen has his list. I am happy that my suggestion is same as Tyler. He says Williamson/Tirole (for institutional economics and industrial organisation) and William Nordhaus (for environmental economics).
    • Mankiw points to a Nobel Prize Pool.

    Thomson Reuters has come out with its prediction list for 2009. I received an email from Kathryn McDermott informing me of the same. It has named 7 economists in 3 fields – Behavioral economics, Environment Economics and Monetary Economics. 

    Behavioral Economics – (For their contributions to behavioral economics, including issues of preferences, fairness, and cooperation.)

    Environment Economics – For their contributions to environmental economics, particularly with respect to climate change.


      Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA • Winner of the 2005 Distinguished Fellow Award of the American Economic Association • Ranked 108th in output and 49th in citations, according to Coupe rankings.


      Professor of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA • Guggenheim Fellow 1970-1971 and in 1986 was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. • Ranked 35th in output and 56th in citations, according to Coupe rankings.

    Monetary Economics – For their research on monetary policy


      Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, and Bowen H. and Mary Arthur McCoy Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford, CA, USA • Recipient of the 2005 Alexander Hamilton Award, U.S. Treasury Department and the 2005 George P. Schultz Public Service Award, Stanford University.

      RePEc ranking 54th as of August 2009


      Professor, Department of Economics, and Director of the Center for Research in International Economics, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain • Winner of 2008 Premi Societat Catalana d¹Economia and recipient in 2008 of the First Prize Award for Best Paper presented at the NBER’S International Seminar on Macroeconomics during its first 25 years


      Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Economics, New York University, New York, NY, USA • 2007-2008 Guggenheim Fellow and 2008 First Prize Award for Best Paper presented at the NBER’S International Seminar on Macroeconomics during its first 25 years

    Here are my comments for each of the fields.

    • Behavioral Economics- I have read a bit of all the above except Ernst Fehr. The Prize was given in 2002 for behavioral economics and I think giving another one in 2009 will be too early. And not having Thaler in the list for behavioral economics would be like awarding another award for International Trade without having Bhagwati on the list or an award for environemntal economics without having Nordhaus on the list. Moreover Rabin is just about 46 now and as per Nobel Prize winners’ age is too young for the award. But yes whenever behavioral economics is awarded next, Rabin would be a strong contender.
    • Environmental Economics- I have read very little about these two guys and environment economics in general. I have to read a lot more on this to comment anything. But yes see some recognition of the importance of the field soon. Till the committee does not award the field, it will always be in the prediction list.
    • Monetary Economics- I have read quite a bit of John Taylor and if monetary economics is recognised, he would most likely get the award. His work on getting rules into monetary policy framework is quite a revolution. There are strong critiques of John taylor but this is the case with much of economics. Gertler has written quite a few papers with Bernanke and is a leading proponent with Jordi Gali (see this) on New Keynesian Theory and DSGE Models. Given the current criticism on these models, I don’t think they will be awarded this time.  

    So let’s wait for 12 October….

    Marcus Brunnermeier gets Bernacer 2008

    June 17, 2009

    Marcus Brunnermeier of Princeton gets the Bernacer award for 2009 (see previous winners’ list here). It is the European equivalent of Clark Medal awarded to promising European economists under age 40 (though most are now based in US Univs).

    His papers have helped explain the recent crisis closely mimicing the practices of financial markets and its players.

     A useful summary of his research is provided by José Manuel González-Páramo of ECB here. He himself has a summary of his work here  (he calls it outdated though)

    Fischer Black Prize – a victim of this crisis?

    April 24, 2009

    Today (24 April 2009) AEA would award the John Bates Clark Medal. It is given to the most budding American Economist under age of 40. WSJ Blog has a list of probable candidates (two of them have done most of their research on India). The award has moved from being a biennial event to an annual one. So, now we would have superstar economists every year (see my research on the relation between nobel prize and clark medal here)

    On just some surfing, I realised this year Fischer Black award has been given as well. This award is on lines of Clark Medal and is given by American Finance Association to financial economists. The recepient for 2009 is Harrison Hong of Princeton University. The award was given in January 2009 but there was hardly any mention of the same in blogs, newspapers etc. But am sure, blogs etc will be full of details on the Clark Medal winner. Infact, a google search just tells you of the first recipient of the award – Raghuram Rajan. Even Princeton University just points to the link of American Finance Association without mentioning about his line of work etc.

    I was just wondering why this treatment to Fischer Black prize? True, Clark Medal has a history but Black Medal just started in 2003. But then not one mention? Financial economics has become a very distinctive field and is the most popular course in any MBA program. Black Prize is the most prestigious for fin eco people but hardly gets any coverage. Why?

    Is it because of this crisis? There was some speculation during Nobel 2008 that Fama (and French) was once again the leading candidate but would not get it because of the crisis (though Krugman was also on the list for a long time and fully deserved it).

    Actually, I think the problem also lies with financial economists. We also do not really know much about the second Black Medal recepient as well. The research has become just too vague and very little can be applied practiically.  It has become so mathematical and Greek that one can never be sure of the results. I always remember the words of Merton Miller while reading any financial economics research. He in his Nobel Prize lecture said (his lecture is a must read on Leverage and it would have been great to read his views in this crisis, would comment on it later):

    Unlike some of the older fields of economics, the focus in finance has not been on issues of public policy. We have emphasized positive economics rather than normative economics, striving for solid empirical research built on foundations of simple, but powerful organizing theories. Now that our field has officially come of age, as it were, perhaps my colleagues in finance can be persuaded to take their noses out of their data bases from time to time and to bring the insights of our field, and especially the public policy insights, to the attention of a wider audience.

    This just nails the problems with fin eco research on its head. ( I would also say his advice applies to all eco research). Somehow, his advice has been lost . We just continue to have more and more of jazz with little understanding of its implications.

    Elaine Bennett Research Prize for 2008 to Amy Finkelstein

    December 26, 2008

    I had pointed about 2 relatively unknown awards for Economists. One of them is Elaine Bennett Research Prize given to women economists.

    So far, the winners have been:

    For 2008, the award goes to MIT’s economist Amy Finkelstein. Majority of her research work focuses on insurance markets.

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