Following carefully in the footsteps of inventor and philanthropist Alfred Nobel, who introduced this idea at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Nobel Prize committee faces a new challenge this year. Among the fellow candidates there is a major discontent at the Nobel Prize award ceremony.
As we know, Nobel founded this event in 1901 to reward the lifetime accomplishments of scientist from all around the globe. Every year, the ceremony celebrates fields of study such as physics, medicine, mathematics and literature. But what about economy? Is the prize for economy as “real” as the other fields of study?
If we take a look back to the early days of this prestigious ceremony, we will discover much to our awe that Alfred Nobel, as a fellow scientist and member of the scientific community, didn’t mention in his will anything about economy. And so, in 1968, during the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Swedish central bank, economy was introduced among the fields of that are capable of receiving this award.
In response to the confusion surrounding the legitimacy of the Nobel Prize for economics, Peter Englund, the former head of the Economic Science Prize Committee, wrote on the foundation’s website that economics, unlike medicine, chemistry or mathematics is not considered to be what he called and “experimental science”, although in 2002 Vernon Smith won the Nobel Prize for economics when he got his students to establish small markets.
This year, the jury has the difficult decision of selecting between 5 candidates whose accomplishments speak for themselves. The first candidate is Oliver Blanchard, the former chief economist of the International Money Fund. Blanchard graduated at Paris Dauphine University and earned his Ph.D. in economics at M.I.T in 1977. He wrote numerous paper in the field of macroeconomics and along with Carlo Cottarelli, wrote an IMF blog entitled “Ten Commandments for Fiscal Adjustment in Advanced Economic”. Blanchard contributions played a pivotal role in the austerity vs. stimulus debate.
The second candidate is Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the US Federal reserve. Among other candidates we can see professors from US universities such as Avinash Dixit from Princeton, Robert Barro from Harvard University and Bengt Holmstrom from MIT.
The winner of this year’s award in the field of economical sciences will be announced on Monday, at 1:00 PM. This will be the concluding ceremony for the Nobel Prize this year.
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