Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
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The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences is an award for outstanding contributions to the field of economics, and generally regarded as the most prestigious award for that field.
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- Things are stuck now.
- William Nordhaus, only four days after receiving Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, in interview for Diurnal of New Economic Theories (Oct 12, 2018)
- Yeah. You get that. Requests for signing statements is probably the biggest part of the story. Well, I don’t think it has actually in my case. I don’t go to places where I’m invited (just) because I’ve got a Nobel. (laugh) I don’t want to decorate anybody. So I try to keep on working. On the whole, I think it can happen, (but) I think it hasn’t happened in my case. I think I’ve, I’ve kept pretty much…. And the things that I have gotten as a result of it, on the whole, have been things I liked to go to, and I simply turned down things that I’m not interested in. So I don’t think it’s been a strongly negative matter at all.
- I must confess that if I had been consulted whether to establish a Nobel Prize in economics, I should have decidedly advised against it.
One reason was that I feared that such a prize, as I believe is true of the activities of some of the great scientific foundations, would tend to accentuate the swings of scientific fashion.
This apprehension the selection committee has brilliantly refuted by awarding the prize to one whose views are as unfashionable as mine are.
I do not yet feel equally reassured concerning my second cause of apprehension.
It is that the Nobel Prize confers on an individual an authority which in economics no man ought to possess.
This does not matter in the natural sciences. Here the influence exercised by an individual is chiefly an influence on his fellow experts; and they will soon cut him down to size if he exceeds his competence.
But the influence of the economist that mainly matters is an influence over laymen: politicians, journalists, civil servants and the public generally.
There is no reason why a man who has made a distinctive contribution to economic science should be omnicompetent on all problems of society - as the press tends to treat him till in the end he may himself be persuaded to believe.
- My response was the common one. At 5:30 in the morning the phone rang. My wife (was) in bed next to me and said, which child has had an accident? I listened and a Swedish accented voice said how does it feel to win the Nobel Prize? I wasn’t sure that it wasn’t a hoax, but I said to my wife, it’s okay, no child is involved. Then the announcement came that I had been named. It seemed genuine and not a hoax, and I was surprised. I think one of my reactions was, and my second daughter criticized me later when I told her about it, I said well it’s nice to have a lot of hard work rewarded. She said that was a very stuck up answer (laugh).