A Nobel Prediction
By David Henderson
I have my wishes about who will win the Nobel Prize in Economics on Monday. But I always distinguish between what I want and what I expect.
I have never predicted the Nobel accurately, after trying for over 20 years. Even when I’ve got it right, e.g., Gary Becker, I got the year wrong.
So this isn’t a prediction about a particular economist. It’s a prediction about a kind of economist or kind of economic research.
One of the Nobel committee members in 2008 said that one reason to award it to Paul Krugman that year was to “kick George W. Bush in the leg.” (I might not have the quote quite accurate, because I’m hurrying off to class, but that was the gist.)
I have little doubt that most, and probably all, committee members want Hillary Clinton to beat Donald Trump and are understandably concerned about Trump (although, in my view, not concerned enough about Clinton.) For that reason I predict that they will award the Prize to an economist or economists who are on the opposite side of some important issue(s) from Trump. So I predict it will be someone who is easily identifiable with Hillary Clinton (Larry Summers, for example) or who is an outspoken advocate of carbon taxes (William Nordhaus, for example.) However, one slight possibility: it could be a strong advocate of free trade: I think Jagadish Bhagwati is overdue. The problem, from the committee’s viewpoint, is that although that would stiff arm Trump, it wouldn’t exactly be a ringing endorsement of Clinton. On the other hand, maybe the committee would rather implicitly endorse a policy than implicitly endorse a candidate.
UPDATE: Andy Wood provides the exact quote below. And it wasn’t about Krugman’s Nobel; it was about Jimmy Carter’s.