Nobel Prize predictions

by on September 28, 2006 at 7:54 am in Economics | Permalink

The Economics prize will be announced October 9.  Here are speculations from last year.  Here are further plausible picks.  Gordon Tullock deserves it.  I predict Eugene Fama and Richard Thaler as deserving co-winners for their work in empirical finance.  Fama will win it for first proving (1972) and then disproving (1992) CAPM, the Capital Asset Pricing Model.  Thaler will win it for developing behavioral finance and a better account of how irrationalities manifest themselves in asset markets.  Kenneth French, a co-author of Fama’s, might be a third pick.  My greatest fear is that they pick Lars Svensson (I believe he is Norwegian, but still that is not a bad name for winning a Swedish prize), and somebody asks me to explain his work.

I believe I have never once predicted this prize correctly.  Last year I said Thomas Schelling, the co-winner with Bob Aumann, deserved the prize but might not ever get it.  What do you all think?

Addendum: Chris Masse points me to bookie odds on the Peace Prize.

1 DK September 28, 2006 at 8:11 am

If you have one, I would appreciate a link or reference to Fama’s proof and disproof. By disproof, do you mean the 1992 journal of finance paper where he shows empirically that stock betas don’t predict returns?

2 Pavel September 28, 2006 at 8:54 am

Fama’s paper of 1992 does not in fact falsify the CAPM. It can be interpreted the way that most betas are poorly computed. Saying that betas don’t work does not yet mean that CAPM is wrong.

The best empirical support (albeit not proof) of CAPM is the relative performace of index funds vs. actively managed portfolios.

3 tom s. September 28, 2006 at 9:15 am

My sister pointed me to the Science Citation Index people who have a prognosis at

And while neither of us has a clue about the economics one, she is hoping for Alec Jeffreys to get the medical prize for DNA fingerprinting, as she did her PhD at his place.

Once upon a time I could have made a reasonable guess about the chemistry one. No longer, unfortunately.

4 drtaxsacto September 28, 2006 at 9:33 am

Those are all good suggestions. I believe Tullock deserves it but I think he will never get it. His early work with Buchanan helped define public choice. But some of this other work, some with Buchanan and some independently, is truly wonderful. I think his Theory of Public Bads is Bastiatlike in its clarity and usefulness. But like Bastiat, Tullock gets dinged for not having the training in the field – although like Bastiat, a lot of his work helped define the field.

5 ghost September 28, 2006 at 9:42 am

Alchian has almost no chance to get it unless it ends up as a package deal. I could see Alchian and Williamson getting it. But more likely it will be Williamson and Hart.

6 bartman September 28, 2006 at 11:32 am

I spend a fair bit of time telling my students that you can’t prove something, you can only either disprove it or fail to disprove it. Am I wrong?

7 Barkley Rosser September 28, 2006 at 2:51 pm

I think the list that Tyler linked to
can be viewed as the “A list.” Any of
those could get it. In terms of probabilities,
I think the most likely competition to Fama or
Fama and Thaler or Fama, Thaler, and French (or
somebody else with Fama, etc.) would be one for
trade, with Bhagwati for sure on that one,
very likely with Dixit, less likely with

If Tullock gets it, and I think he deserves it,
it will be in conjunction with Anne Kreuger for
rent seeking. He invented the concept, and she
coined the term. This would also be politically
correct in that a woman has never gotten it.
Many think Joan Robinson should have gotten it,
but she never did and is now dead…

8 mike September 28, 2006 at 3:32 pm

Richard Musgrave deserves it. But another no chancer.

9 gaddeswarup September 28, 2006 at 7:22 pm

May be one of the bloggers should get it; for taking economics to the people.

10 Abdol September 28, 2006 at 10:56 pm

Will Brian Arthur (for his works on increasing returns) or Richard Nelson (for evolutionary economics) ever have any chance to win Nobel prize?

11 Tim September 29, 2006 at 10:14 pm

Is Robert J. Barro not in contention this year?

12 Barkley Rosser September 30, 2006 at 11:57 am

Barro is on the A list.

Having just gotten back from a
symposium honoring Thomas Schelling,
one of last year’s recipients, I am
more inclined to think this might be
the year for a trade Nobel. There
has not been one for a long time, a
very long time, if ever. Furthermore,
the committee sometimes like to send
a political message, and the big global
economic event this year has been the
collapse of the Doha round of trade
negotiations, the first time in a long
time there has been such a definitive
collapse. The committee might well want
to send a message to the world about the
widely held consensus view on free trade
that is held by economists. No better
way to do it than to give to Bhagwati et al.

13 tom s. October 3, 2006 at 8:56 am

For what it’s worth, the Thomson predictions I cite above were all wrong for both the medicine and physics prizes.

14 j October 7, 2006 at 4:40 am

Is Jean Tirole on the A list?

15 不動産投資 July 12, 2008 at 1:42 am

資金を増やそうとするのに不動産投資をするのが手っ取り早い。日本で不動産で東京 賃貸をさがすのはきわめて難しくシステム開発は日本の会社が良い。

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