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A few things about this annual pseudo-Nobel of th Bank of Sweden Prize in
First, the end of the newpaper article is ambiguous. It reads: "The Economics
Prize is the only one of the six Nobel prizes not created in Swedish
industrialist Alfred Nobel's 1896 will -- it was created much
later to celebrate the 1968 tricentary of the Swedish central bank and was
first awarded in 1969".
They should have added the crucial words: "it was created by the bank of Sweden
and is paid by the Bank". For a detailed analysis of this symbolic "coup" see:
Second: Daniel Kahneman (Bank of Sweden PRize in 2002) is a psychologist not an
economist. This example shows how economists who are so often autistic tend to
see every thing as "economics" when they use it. Hence, I recently saw the
phrase "econometric analysis" instead of "statistical analysis" for a simple
All this to say that if more "non-economists" win that prize it will probably be
because they will be seen as doing economic without knowing it as Kahneman was
Surlignage Barry Wellman <[log in to unmask]>:
> ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
> ok, it is a bit of a stretch.
> But certainly, Ostrom and Williamson have informed my/our work for years
> Story below
> PS: US media not focusing on the fact that Ostrom is first non card
> carrying economist to win the prize, whose terms have never been
> restricted to economists -- but for "Economic Sciences".
> Too bad it didn't include Harrison.
> Barry Wellman
> S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC NetLab Director
> Department of Sociology 725 Spadina Avenue, Room 388
> University of Toronto Toronto Canada M5S 2J4 twitter:barrywellman
> http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman fax:+1-416-978-3963
> Updating history: http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php
> US duo wins Nobel Economics Prize, first woman lauded
> US duo wins Nobel Economics Prize, first woman lauded AFP/HO – An undated
> handout image from the US National Academy of Sciences shows Elinor
> Ostrom. Ostrom and Oliver …
> by Pia Ohlin Pia Ohlin – 31 mins ago
> STOCKHOLM (AFP) – The Nobel Economics Prize went Monday to US economists
> Oliver Williamson and Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win the award, for
> research on ethical corporate governance and natural resource management.
> Their work may be seen as particularly topical in the wake of the global
> financial crisis and ongoing efforts to combat climate change.
> "The research of Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson demonstrates that
> economic analysis can shed light on most forms of social organisation,"
> the jury said.
> Ostrom, who describes herself as a political scientist and not an
> economist, won half the 10-million-kronor (1.42-million-dollar,
> 980,000-euro) prize "for her analysis of economic governance" especially
> relating to the management of common property or property under common
> control, such as natural resources.
> Her work challenged the conventional wisdom that common property is poorly
> managed and should be either regulated by central authorities or
> privatised, the jury said.
> A professor at Indiana University whose name has circulated as a possible
> winner in recent years, Ostrom told Swedish television her first reaction
> was "great surprise and appreciation," and said she was "in shock" over
> being the first woman to clinch the honour.
> "If we want to halt the degradation of our natural environment and prevent
> a repetition of the many collapses of natural-resource stocks experienced
> in the past, we should learn from the successes and failures of
> common-property regimes," the jury said.
> "Ostrom's work teaches us novel lessons about the deep mechanisms that
> sustain cooperation in human societies," it added.
> She conducted numerous studies of user-managed fish stocks, pastures,
> woods, lakes and groundwater basins, and concluded that the outcomes are
> "more often than not, better than predicted by standard theories," the
> jury explained.
> Williamson, a professor at the University of California Berkeley, was
> honoured with the other half of the prize "for his analysis of economic
> governance, especially the boundaries of the firm."
> He has studied the existence of large firms and argued that hierarchical
> organisations represent alternative governance structures which differ in
> their approaches to resolving conflicts of interest.
> Williamson's work may be considered to be related to one of the basic
> theories explaining the purpose of a company or firm, which is to manage
> A company manages contracts with a wide range of parties so as to produce
> a benefit beyond that which a specific customer could achieve itself.
> Williamson?s work touches on ways in which the firm can best aggregate
> some contracting activities to best advantage.
> "According to Williamson's theory, large private corporations exist
> primarily because they are efficient ... When corporations fail to deliver
> efficiency gains, their existence will be called in question," the Nobel
> committee said.
> Landis Gabel, a senior economics and management professor at top French
> business school INSEAD and who studied under Williamson in the 1970s, told
> AFP the choice of Williamson and Ostrom was "timely".
> "Both the Nobel laureates this year have been working on areas that kicked
> off with the concept of failing markets," he said.
> "In the one case (in Ostrom's work) the failure has to do with common
> resources and the other (Williamson's) with imperfections that have
> implications for the structure of business firms," he said.
> "But both of these laureates have done work quite different from the more
> traditional, purely theoretical work that drives off of perfect markets,
> perfectly rational behaviour."
> The Economics Prize is the only one of the six Nobel prizes not created in
> Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel's 1896 will -- it was created much
> later to celebrate the 1968 tricentary of the Swedish central bank and was
> first awarded in 1969.
> The Economics Prize wraps up this year's Nobel season, dominated by
> For the five Nobel prizes announced last week -- for medicine, physics,
> chemistry, literature and peace -- nine of the 11 laureates were US
> citizens, including US President Barack Obama who sensationally won the
> Peace Prize.
> This year was also a record year for women laureates, with five honoured
> including Ostrom, beating the previous record of three.
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