Tomorrow’s the big day — the day the Nobel Foundation announces its pick for the field of economics. Now technically, it’s not one of the official five Nobel Prizes (Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace), but for all purposes, it is (note: just wanted to pre-empt anyone who was going to make that point in the comments.)
We have no idea who’s going to win, but if you have a hunch you can bet on it. UK site Ladbrokes has Eugene Fama as the favourite, at 2/1. As the WSJ’s Real-Time Economics blog points out, the selection of Fama, at this point, would be an ironic choice, given the current market conditions and his having been a key player in pushing the idea of efficient markets. (Of course, in our experience, ardent believers in efficient markets find a way to make any situation fit their thesis).
Over at PinnacleSports, Martin Feldstein is running as strong candidate. Feldstein would also be an ironic choice, as an advocate of Social Security privatization. Talk about an idea that holds zero political currency right now.
Now anyone can bet at both Pinnacle and Ladbrokes, so if you want to narrow it down to smartest of smart money, there’s actually a Harvard Nobel Pool. Greg Mankiw says the favourite there is Robert Barro, who happens to be a prof. at Harvard. (Some hometown bias perhaps?). Barro’s work has focused on areas like monetary policy and central banks.
Bottom line here: We’re not sensing much consensus, which is pretty typical when you’re deal with a secretive group that can use whatever standards it likes.
And of course, please use the comments to throw out your guess (free! No betting required). We’ll spotlight whoever was the first to correctly identify the winner.
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