In a now annual event, economists at Kellogg and the NU Econ Dept have been polled for their forecasts of who will win the Econ Nobel Prize next Monday. Jeff and I forgot to vote for each other but the rest of the predictions are below (the full write up is on the Kellogg Expertly Wrapped blog):
The Thomson-Reuters citation based predictions are Steve Ross, Tony Atkinson and Angus Deaton, and Robert Shiller.
NU and Kellogg have a large group of IO specialists and theorists. There is also a rich tradition in innovative work in incentive theory – Myerson, Holmstrom and Milgrom were at Kellogg in my department and did some of their best work here in the early 1980s.
So, I am somewhat discounting the latter three candidates with one caveat below. Tirole is also a perennial favorite given the IO bias. While I think all these researchers will get this prize eventually, their age works against them – they are too young. they did seminal work at a time when Duran Duran ruled the airwaves or perhaps the Smiths in the case of Tirole. The Nobel Committee is still sorting out the time when ABBA was Number One and Bjorn Borg won Wimbledon. (Note Swedish influence on pop culture was high in the 1970s!)
Surely there is the odd foray into the 1980s when a field has been overlooked (e.g. Krugman for new trade theory). Mechanism design, incentives have won several times so this works against them. But one might argue Tirole is the Krugman of IO (or that Krugman is the Tirole of trade given that new trade theory used oligopoly models!).
So, that brings Tirole back in as a prediction.
The age factor also means Bob Wilson, an intellectual hero for all of us who do economic theory, is more likely than others on this list. Holmstrom and Milgrom (and Roth?) are his students and they were inspired by his tutelage and research agenda. He also worked with David Kreps. So, some prize organized around Wilson might be another possibility.
I am completely discounting the Thomson-Reuters predictions because (1) finance people can’t get the prize so soon after the financial crisis even if they do behavioral fiance like Shiller and (2) there was a recent Growth and Development Nobel Symposium and it is too soon to give a prize to Deaton or Atkinson after that – the Committee needs to think it over.
I personally think the prize will go to Econometrics because there hasn’t been one since Engel and Granger. I have no expertize in the field so I won’t hazard a guess.