Predicting the Nobel Again …

Josh Wright —  7 October 2007

Greg Mankiw and Tyler Cowen have started the speculation. Cowen prefers “Anne Krueger, Jagdish Bhagwati, and Gordon Tullock for their work on rent-seeking” but predicts a behavioral finance prize to Fama, Thaler & French or a prize for research on the principal-agent theory of the firm to Williamson and/or Tirole. Mankiw predicts Fama, Feldstein, or Barro based on some citation analysis. Thomson Scientific adds their own predictions here.

I should note that I’m not very good at this Nobel prediction game. Last year I incorrectly predicted that Fama, Thaler & French would win the prize and ended up losing a very expensive and tasty dinner bet to Geoff. While those were my predictions, I made the case that the prize should go to either Tullock (rent-seeking) or jointly to Alchian, Demsetz and Klein (theory of the firm, property rights, transaction costs economics — can we just call this contributions to industrial organization?). Its a new year. But I don’t see why my picks should change this year. I haven’t learned anything between then and now about how these things work, and my views on the economists certainly haven’t changed. So here goes:

  • Prediction: Fama, Thaler and French.
  • Preference: A prize to the UCLA group of Alchian, Demsetz and Klein or my colleague Gordon Tullock.

Geoff: Want to take advantage of my stubbornness and take the field again against a group including Fama, Thaler, Williamson, Holmstrom, and Barro?

4 responses to Predicting the Nobel Again …


    I can taste my burger now . . . .

    I don’t have much to say about this year’s winners, except that mechanism design is increasingly important in the world of online markets, and I have no doubt that these guys are smart and important. But other than that, I know nothing about them. Oh, except for one supremely important thing: Myerson is a professor at Chicago, which, of course, deserves another Nobel; it’s been too long.


    Yes, I’m trying to improve my odds a bit. I’m still reeling from last years embarrassing loss. Who knows how these things go. If they made any sense, Alchian would have already won.


    I see you’re hedging your bet this year. Last year I got the field against only three economists. This year you’re nearly doubling the size of your group. Fine. I still like my odds. And just because I insisted on ordering a drink with my burger and fries does not make the meal “expensive.” Sheesh. (Just to clarify one thing in case I lose: My prediction is some combination of Fama, Thaler, Williamson, Holmstrom and Barro. I just can’t possibly pass up the odds).

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