And the Not-the-Nobel-Prize in Economics Goes to…
by Guy Dauncey
Posted December 30, 2019
Alfred Nobel never created a prize for economists. He was seventy-three years in his grave when the Central Bank of Sweden got the idea that they could elevate the prestige of economists by awarding a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences “in memory of Alfred Nobel”. Today, the Nobel Foundation admits that the prize is not a Nobel Prize, but it still gives it status equal to the real prizes. Even Alfred Nobel’s descendants want it scrapped. Call it the Riksbank Prize, they said, but not the Nobel Prize, with the luminary status this implies.
The prize has three big problems. The first is its up-front pronouncement that economics is a science, when it’s clear to all outsiders that it’s not.
The second is that the economists who choose the winners rarely step outside of their ideological comfort zone, which is the neoclassical school of economics.
And the third is that by raising neoclassical economics to such Olympian heights the prize has increased public blindness to the flaws of neoclassical economics and its priestly obeisance to the supposedly natural laws of the free market. More…