The Not-any-more-Nobel Prize

This information is somewhat belated but I found it today just by chance: on October 11 the family of Alfred Nobel, sponsor of the Nobel Prize, disassociated itself from the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economics In Memory of Alfred Nobel, commonly known as the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Here an excerpt from the explanation given by the lawyer of the Nobel family (the whole press release, translated into English by Jorge Buzaglo, can be found here):

The Economics Prize in memory of Alfred Nobel should be criticized on two grounds. First, it is a deceptive utilization of the institution of the Nobel Prize and what it represents. Second, the economics prize is biased, in the sense that it one-sidedly rewards Western economic research and theory.

[…]

With no knowledge of economics, I have no opinions about the individual economics prize winners. But something must be wrong when all economics prizes except two were given to Western economists, whose research and conclusions are based on the course of events there, and under their influence. I can imagine Alfred Nobel’s sarcastic comments if he were able to hear about these prize winners. Above all else, he wanted his prizes to go to those who have been most beneficial to humankind, all of humankind!

Perfectly right. I would add to it the fact that most of the laureates (not all of them, but exceptions the awarded in 1998 or 2002 or 2009 were… exceptions) were representing the neo-classical school of economic thought that repeatedly proved to be built on flawed assumptions.

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