16 October, 2008

For the record...is the Nobel politicized?

Mickey Kaus claims that the Swedes are trying to influence the election by giving Krugman the Nobel Prize. But what are the politics of the Nobel Prize? Let's look at prizes in economics given in election years:

2008 - Paul Krugman
2004 - Kydland and Prescott
2000 - Heckman and McFadden
1996 - Mirrlees and Vickrey
1992 - Gary Becker
1988 - Maurice Allais
1984 - Richard Stone
1980 - Larry Klein
1976 - Milton Friedman
1972 - Hicks and Arrow
Okay--so, Krugman's liberal. But in 2004 the prize was given to Ed Prescott, who, while a Swarthmore alumnus, is about as right-wing as economists get. Heckman supports Obama now but used to be solidly Chicago-school (libertarian) in his politics. McFadden's a liberal. Becker is a champion of the Chicago school, Klein is an old-school Democrat. Friedman is Milton Friedman. Arrow is liberal.

So that makes four liberals and four conservatives and six I can't place off-hand. Conclusion? The Nobel is not politicized.

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