|Man Without Qualities|
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
It's autumn again! There's a snap in the air. New England trees are beginning preparations for their technicolor displays. Birds are flying south. And, of course, Brad Delong is predicting that Herr Doktorprofessor Paul Von Krugman will win the Nobel Prize in economics this year, just as he did at this time in 2003 and again in 2004 - although he did diversify his bet last year into near-meaninglessness when he formulated it this way:
I think that we should be thinking not in terms of people but of fields, and the Bhagwati-Dixit-Krugman Nobel looks to me like the best bet. (Of course, it seemed to me to be the best bet last year.)Uh, sure, Brad, whatever you say.
But wait! This year pleas to the Corpulent Oracle of Berkeley to prognostify on Herr Doktorprofessor's Nobel chances are met with only the silence of the tomb!
What's wrong? Not even a heavily diluted prediction? Is Herr Doktorprofessor's name not written in the chicken entrails at all this year? Nothing in the rumor mill to post - nothing at all? What could have changed? Dear me! Dear me!
Given the sometimes hysterically anti-American tenor of some Nobel awards (Jimmy Carter for Peace? Please.) it is not inconceivable that the Nobelists might extend their blessings to Herr Doktorprofessor. The people who award the economics prize are not, of course, the same loons who hand out the Literature and Peace Nobels - but some economics prize picks have been pretty strange in their own right.
There may be another reason Plump Brad isn't plumping for Herr Doktorprofessor this year. Sweden is, after all, a member of the EU, which was rocked this year by the defeat of its purported "constitution" in various referenda, especially in France - largely on fears relating to possible and feared effects of international trade. It’s hard to imagine that this Nobel committee wasn't aware of the fuss. So it seems an appropriate time to repeat some observations I made at the time of that constitutional defeat:
Time will tell. And not that much time, at that.
A RUMOR: But it's just from the nutty, left-wing Guardian:
Here is a shortlist of economists who are good contenders for this year's prize: Robert Barro, Jagdish Bhagwati, Eugene Fama, Paul Krugman and Paul Romer.Of course, nutty, left wing people can sometimes be correct, especially when predicting an award of a prize given out by other people who are often nutty, left-wing types.
Krugman over Fama? O, lordy, lordy.
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