econ nobel

Wojtek Sokolowski sokol at
Wed Oct 11 16:02:17 PDT 2000

At 02:44 PM 10/11/00 -0700, Brad riposted:
>Say, rather, that McFadden built a framework that you can use to
>estimate what demand will be when people must make discrete
>choices--whether to commute by car or by subway, for example. And
>Heckman built a framework that you can use when you don't observe a
>substantial chunk of your sample for reasons that depend on the
>choices they do make.

This was not the point I tried to make. I argued that for the most part the Nobel prize is awarded not for solving some pernicious technical problems, but because the solutions re-affirm conventional values or save politically correct theories from empirical refutation.

To be sure, this problem is not limited to the Nobel prize in economics, but to Nobel prize in general. Since it is impossible to objectively determine what constitutes the greatest contribution to science in general, let alone such a contribution during the past year, such annual events are but beauty contests, or rather rituals bestowing seals of political correctness.

The Nobel prize money would be better spent on genuine advancement of knowledge, say, funding statistical reporting in developing countries.


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