This year’s winner, Liu Xiaobo, is serving an 11 year sentence in China as a political prisoner.
In 1935, Carl von Ossietzky was awarded the prize while being held as a political prisoner in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. Within 10 years the Nazis were reviled around the globe. Von Ossietzky was dead, but he now has a university named after him.
This move took a whole lot more guts than last year’s pointless award to Barack Obama. Let’s hope they keep this up next year.
Just trying to keep my blog blocked by Chinese servers …
JOLTS – the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey – gathers data that most novice macroeconomists find surprising: that there are huge numbers of people hired during recessions, and huge numbers fired in expansions (see this earlier SUU Macroblog post).
How is that possible? The answer is costly search and matching.
This year’s Nobel Prize in economics went to Diamond, Mortensen and Pissarides. Diamond did older work on search, and Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution calls the award to Mortensen and Pissarides the closest thing the Nobel committee has ever done to making an award based on one paper.
Unemployment insurance is a huge disincentive to finding work, but the gross costs of reducing it come mostly from workers rather than employers, and the net benefits to society aren’t large.
Discouraging employers from firing increases the unemployment rate a little, but hits output really hard because inefficient jobs get retained.
Paying a subside to employers to hire workers has huge benefits, most of which accrue to workers. In particular, the gross benefits to workers are large enough that you could tax some of them away to completely pay for the subsidy and still have workers’ net benefit stay positive.
A funny thing happens when you actually work out the economics: otherwise “conservative” economists often come up with policy implications that sound “liberal”.
Marginal Revolution has an excellent summary of these guys contributions to economics (here, here, here, here, here, and here).
… Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) argued, about Diamond, “I do not believe he’s ready to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board. I do not believe that the current environment of uncertainty would benefit from monetary policy decisions made by board members who are learning on the job.”
Obama may not understand that he does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.
This is typical of men: our filters for flattery work inversely from the degree of outrageousness.
That makes this the moment for Michelle Obama to sit Barack down and tell him clearly that he cannot accept the Nobel Peace Prize without having done something comparable and active that would put him on the same footing as other potential recipients.
This is a pass/fail test; with a stick for failing and no carrot for winning.
I'm glad they didn't dilute his award by making it joint with someone else. It's arguable that he did less work than some others in the area for which he is getting the award, but I personally think the stuff he did was more pathbreaking.
Krugman's theory relies on increasing-returns-to-scale - this is when getting bigger makes you more profitable. Krugman's insight was that this gives you an incentive to trade more widely. This explains a lot of things, but most fundamentally, why parties will trade the same thing with each other (like Ford and Mercedes selling cars in each others countries).
The only thing that bugs me about this award is that I'm having a hard time figuring out how the Nobel committee decides to bypass older economists for younger ones one year, and then to revisit the old ones the next year. This seems kind of arbitrary to me. There's been a shortage of awards lately for those born between 1935 and 1950 (and only 1 of the last 16 was born between 1935 and 1940). Did those folks do something wrong I don't know about?
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