The Economics Nobel Prize isn’t really a Nobel Prize as originally established by Alfred Nobel (there were five of those: three science prizes, Literature, and Peace). Rather, it was established only in 1969, and is formally called “The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences”. I don’t count it as a real Nobel Prize. Given that, though, the University of Chicago is crawling with Economics-Prize laureates.
My school missed out this year: the prize was awarded this morning to American economists Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, both at Stanford University “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.”
Shoot me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Economics Nobels have improved the lot of humanity as much as the other prizes, and, after all, improvement of human welfare is what the Prizes are supposed to go for (some may denigrate the Literature Prize here). I know some reader will come over here and argue that improvements in auction theory are as useful as establishing the structure of DNA or devising the CRISPR/Cas9 system, but they would be wrong.
Do you think the Economics “Nobels” should be awarded at all? Here’s a poll.