Who will receive the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel?
Bloomberg’s Noah Smith has come up with an impressive list of potential winners.
1) The New Keynesians: Economists who have examined causes of recessions, and explained how policymakers need to act when the business cycle deteriorates. There’s plenty of possible options, including: Michael Woodford, Stanley Fischer, Greg Mankiw, Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, Olivier Blanchard, Guillermo Calvo, Janet Yellen and David Romer.
The economics Nobel tends to favor the work of pure theorists who work on the deepest problems. And few thinkers dig deeper than Stanford University’s Paul Milgrom.
He was a major figure in the creation of auction theory — probably the most empirically successful and practically useful economic theory of all time, which is now used to power everything from Google ads to federal spectrum auctions.
His most important thesis is that social institutions are crucial for development and don’t change much over time — places that develop institutions based on exploiting labor and extracting resources tend to do badly over the centuries, while those that create more inclusive systems flourish. More recently, Acemoglu has tackled the question of whether automation will make humans obsolete.
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One female winner in 50 years really isn’t good enough. And there are several women who could be recognised by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences today.