I got an e-mail blast from Thomson Reuters offering their Nobel Prize predictions for 2010.
I’m not impressed.
Their 3 top possibilities in economics are:
I’m not sure if this is a ranking or not.
Just an opinion here, since I don’t know any of these guys personally. I don’t think Alesina’s work will ever win a Nobel Prize – I think a lot of people think it’s worthwhile but kind of obvious. Kiyotaki and Moore is very trendy right now, but I’m not sure their work is going to have legs as the crises recede into memory. I think Murphy will get one eventually, but not yet.
I think their list of past predictions is far more interesting (Thomson Reuters seems to have an incentive to put up new names each year). All of these are still eligible:
- Robert J. Barro
- Eugene F. Fama and Kenneth R. French
- Paul Michael Romer
- Richard H. Thaler
- Jagdish N. Bhagwati and Avinash K. Dixit
- Dale W. Jorgenson
- Oliver D. Hart and Bengt R. Holmstrom
- Elhanan Helpman and Gene M. Grossman
- Jean Tirole
- Robert B. Wilson and Paul R. Milgrom
- Lars P. Hansen, Thomas J. Sargent, and Christopher A. Sims
- Martin S. Feldstein
- Armen A. Alchian and Harold Demsetz
- Ernst Fehr and Matthew J. Rabin
- William D. Nordhaus and Martin L. Weitzman
- John B. Taylor, Jordi Gali and Mark L. Gertler
Barro has vocally opposed Democratic programs. This has not always served him well, but it certainly makes him look like a good pick for this year.
Time is running out for 96-year old Alchian – with Demsetz this would be a good pair. Perhaps he’ll outlive those who vote against him because he worked for Rand.
Fama is always good – I’m just not sure if they’ll let French steal some of his thunder.
Romer is always good – but I think he may still be too young.
I have been crowing about Bhagwati since the late 90’s. Perhaps this is his year. I do not think he will get it with Dixit, Helpman or Grossman (although all 4 as a group might be possible).
Jorgenson would be a good solo pick – his stuff is used very widely and there hasn’t been a prize that overlaps with it.
Hansen, Sargent and Sims have contributed hugely to macroeconomics and finance. They are a lock, but perhaps not this year.
Nordhaus is an interesting possibility. He’s staked out a field, and done some interesting stuff. Is it interesting enough, or just trendy? I’ve been warming up to him quite a lot over the last 5 years.
I don’t think I know enough about Hart, Holmstrom, Tirole, Wilson, Milgrom or Fehr to offer a reasonable opinion – so I’ll abstain.
Feldstein and Weitzman will not get prizes. Rabin is too young. I like Taylor, Gali and Gertler, but I don’t think their influence has been broad enough outside of their fields of specialization to merit a prize. Thaler might get a prize, but I think the criticism I made of Alesina applies to him as well.
My prediction remains Bhagwati – nothing has changed over the last 10 years … he’s still huge and unrecognized with a Nobel. Even a broken clock is right some of the time.