Sunday, 12 October 2014

Another Nobel Post

If the Peace Prize has gone rather awry, my impression is that the other prizes hold up pretty well to the standards which say that excellence in their respective fields should be rewarded. There are, of course, a number of economists to whom I would not have given the Prize, and others who have died without winning what would have been a well-deserved one (e.g. Armen Alchian and Albert O. Hirschman), but no winner as far as I can recall has a really bad case and certainly no-one has caused the field to regress in the way some winners of the Peace Prize have.

Tomorrow the Economics Prize is awarded. I have never made an accurate prediction, but if I keep making them maybe some day I'll be lucky. In years in which so-called "microeconomics" may be rewarded, I usually stick to a team of maybe five economists and pick one or a few of them. Prominent members of this team have been the aforementioned Alchian and Hirschman, and otherwise Gordon Tullock, Richard Posner, Anne Krueger and Sam Peltzman. Consequently, for my prediction to be accurate, the prize this year must reward applications of economic science to Political Economy and rent-seeking. The prize cannot, I believe, be shared by more than three people, so my guess would be that either Tullock, alone or with Peltzman, will be the winner(s), or that Tullock shares it with both Posner and Krueger.

Tullock, of course, ought to have won the prize already in the 1980's with James Buchanan but that was not to be. I am not sure of this is accurate or not, but several people have told me that Tullock vomited when finding out about his exclusion from the prize. And why not? A great deal of Buchanan's best work was joint with Tullock. Anyway, now my prediction is official. If accurate, my foresight will be remarked upon. If inaccurate, everyone will forget the prediction very quickly.

There are of course many other deserving candidates. Tomorrow we'll whom the Riksbank pick.

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