Monday, October 12, 2009

This Year's Nobels: Better than Usual

The Swedish Bank's "Nobel Prize" has gone to two more Americans, including what I believe is the first woman ever to get a "Nobel" in Economics, Elinor Ostrom, of Indiana University. Her work was honored for its contribution to the possibility of "governing the commons" and of inputting user knowledge into the rule-making process.  Good. UC Berkeley's Oliver Williamson was co-winner for his work on non-market economic activity, which is of course grossly underappreciated in the neoclassical tradition that the Swedish Bank has generally recognized, and that has lopsidedly dominated US economic theory for decades.  The public write-up is pretty good. It would be too much to say that these are anti-Chicago School economists, but in the Swedish "Nobel" context, they are.  It's a good sign.

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