Monday, October 4, 2010

Preferences and Economics Nobel Rankings

Jeff Ely has some excellent (and mathy/axiomatic) thoughts on how the Nobel selection committee values economists' contributions.
The Bottom Line: There is clear advice here for those hoping to win the prize this year, and those who actually do. If you do win the prize, for your acceptance speech you should start by doing pushups to prove how virile you are. This signals to the world that you were not given the award because of an impending expiration date but that in fact there was still plenty of time left but the committee still saw fit to act now. And if you fear you will never win the prize, the sooner you expire the more willing will the public be to believe that you would have won if only you had stuck around.
That was just the conclusion. If you appreciate economics, the rest of the article is definitely worth a read. He uses a very simple rule to rank many of the economics Nobel Prize winners. The approach reminds me of my first day in consumer theory when we covered the minimal assumptions that economists make on an individual's preferences over bundles of goods. I love it.

For a taste of the first day of consumer theory, see this video:


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