Is This Finally the Year for a UCLA Economics Nobel?

Josh Wright —  2 October 2008

Its a fall ritual here at TOTM.  Every fall when the Nobel speculation starts I make a prediction, Geoff bets the field against my prediction, and I lose.  But at least I’ve been consistent with my predictions and certainly in my rooting interests.  In 2006, I made the case for awarding the prize to Armen Alchian, Harold Demsetz and Ben Klein.  In 2007, I was at it again predicting the trio of UCLA economists or my recently retired colleague Gordon Tullock.  Same result.  I was wrong, Geoff took the field and won, and I think I still owe him dinner.  So, its a new year and time to start the same game.  But I refuse to learn my lesson.  I’m overdue to win one here.  I’m sticking with the UCLA economists: Alchian, Demsetz and Klein for contributions to the theory of the firm, property rights, and transaction cost economics.  An Alchian and Demsetz prize is probably more likely, but Klein’s contributions with Alchian to the theory of the firm along with his own subsequent extension of that work (see my article on Klein’s contributions to law and economics here) makes the trio especially formidable.  Finally this year, however, it looks like I might have a little bit of company in supporting the UCLA crowd.  Thomson Reuters list Alchian and Demsetz (property rights & the theory of the firm) as one of their top 3 possibilities for the Nobel along with Martin Feldstein (public economics, tax) and a combination of Lars Hansen, Thomas Sargent, and Christopher Sims (dynamic econometric models).

I’m feeling good about this year.   Geoff, I’ve got Alchian, Demsetz and Klein.  I think I know the way this ends (with me picking up the check for dinner), but I’d love to see the UCLA economists recognized for their important contributions.  So how about it readers?  Who are your picks?

Disclosure: Yes, I realize I’m once again picking my dissertation committee to win the Nobel Prize.  And yes, I recognize that is a bit self-interested to do so.   But that doesn’t make it a bad pick! 

2 responses to Is This Finally the Year for a UCLA Economics Nobel?

  1. 

    One Klein has already won, Lawrence in 1980. How about Ben this year, then me a few years later, for a Klein prix-de-trois!

  2. 

    Josh,

    My prediction is that someone at UCLA wins (with, of course, a Chicago connection) but none of the three you mentioned. My money is on Al Harberger.