Nobel prize odds

You’ll find more here, here, and here.  Lots of people favor time series but I’m still picking Oliver Williamson and Jean Tirole.  They gave the prize to theorists last year and now they need to bring it down to earth and also they might wish to choose a Frenchman.  Such a joint prize would in my opinion be well deserved.


Are you saying Williamson and Tirole are not theorists?

This strikes me as if you haven't read Williamson's work (and Douglass North's, but he already got the Nobel). Williamson has pushed many of the themes that have now proven to be critically important to understand the current mess and that have gotten no traction in standard economic analysis, including bounded rationality, contractual complexity, and opportunism. I think if the Nobel Committee is at all willing to set a signal the economic inquiry needs to change its course drastically he or Shiller would be the perfect pick. I'm not quite as sanguine about Tirole.

Can we stop handing out nobel prizes in economics? This is clearly a field with a bunch of second grade intellects handing out prizes for second rate theories. What a load of clap trap economics is. If physics and chemistry had the same quality thresholds for what passes as scientific achievement, we would still be in the era of witchcraft - which is what pretty much economics is close to.

If Gaussian statistics based clap trap like the Black Scholes contribution can fetch prizes for merton and scholes, I think we ought to sue the equity market for behaving in a non gaussian way these last few days. How dare it. Or can we recall the nobel prize for this theory? What does the award say about the quality of the judges that okayed this theory.

The prizes in economics, dilute civilizations great and robust achievements in physics, chemistry, and medicine. Lets stop the sham prize, please.

As usual, the market of gamblers is probably as close as you get to the real numbers.

From Pinnacle Sports (my preferred sportsbook):

2008 Nobel Prize in Economics
Mon 10/13 To Win Outright or a Share of the 2008 Nobel Prize
03:00 AM
101 Martin Feldstein +753
102 Thomas Sargent +1186
103 Robert Barro +1305
104 Paul Romer +1350
105 Jagdish Bhagwati +1365
106 Paul Krugman +1626
107 N. Gregory Mankiw +4367
108 Any other person -136

Give it to Minsky. Then abolish the prize.


For the last several years the betting pools and the prediction markets have been way off. They are not the numbers to believe, Robin Hanson's well argued arguments notwithstanding. This is a special case.


Williamson and Tirole are higher on the probability list in my book than most of those up on the official betting pools. Again, althought it is not widely known, Williamson is the most cited economist of all time, ahead of Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes. But he might get it with Alchian or Alchian and Demsetz rather than Tirole, who is still young. The committee does seem to be into catching some of these old greats before they pass on.

On thinking about it further, the above says that Alchian and Williamson might be more likely than either Alchian and Demsetz or Williamson and Tirole.

The Harvard betting pool looks like an ingrown toenail.

Why it might be for trade this year is the fact now forgotten in all the moaning and wailing over the financial markets, but possibly more important: the breakdown of the Doha round, the first time in more than 60 years the political consensus seems to have shifted against free trade, and the Swedes do pay attention to such things (and trade has not been given a prize since, well, since when?).

Hm... If the Nobel committee is keen on giving a signal in view of this year's mess, I think that Stephen Marglin and Nancy Folbre are front runners...

Those odds seems more based on fame the contribution to economics. I am under the impression that this prize is based more on contribution to the profession than fame.

Top Quark,

Mankiw will not get it because he has produced no Nobel worthy idea, not because of political bias. They gave it to Kydland and Prescott two years ago, who are (or were) very pro-Bush, if not actual members of the administration.

It is not fame, which is why the prediction markets and the Harvard betting pools have tended to goof up. Look at last year's prize to Hurwicz, Maskin, and Myerson. Only a few people mentioned any of them, and nobody publicly did for Myerson, although I was told privately by one of the world's leading game theorists that Myerson would "get the next prize for game theory" a year before it happened.

There are some folks out there with very solid contributions. If you want two relevant to the current mess, try Mandelbrot and Thaler, although they will probably muddy the waters if they give it to either of them by giving it to Fama, who, although more famous, has produced nothing of any relevance to what is going on, and indeed what is going on shows how silly most of his most famous ideas are.

I confess that the one time I was asked by an actual Nobel Prize committee member who I would recommend, I said Mandelbrot. Still holds, today more than ever.

It is a wonder to me that some people here think that someone has put forth a theory that say if a government says to lenders, lend to a bunch of non-credit worthy people it will be great for the financial sector.

You might want to consider yourself part of the problem rather than the solution if that is your understanding of the current situation.

American economics commentators will wake up to a shock!

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