Sunday, August 9, 2009

Predicting Nobel Prize-Winners in Economics

I've been reading bits of "Lives of the Laureates" on and off recently. The book is based on a lecture series at Trinity University where Nobel laureates in economics are asked to describe their evolution as economists. Many of their lives do seem to have been "stochastic trends" :) Some like Clive Granger weren't even sure that they were ever economists. John Harsanyi left ANU because some people there didn't even know what game theory was (this is in the 1950s). Anyway, that got me to thinking who will win the prize in the future. Robert Barro is one economist that has been very highly cited but has not yet won the Nobel Prize. His top ten articles have all been cited more than 1000 times on Google Scholar. The same is true of Eugene Fama but it is hard to imagine him winning the Nobel Prize in the wake of GFC. Andrei Shleifer is still pretty young to win the Prize, though he is maybe the most cited economist of all. He won the John Bates Clark Medal which is probably a good predictor. He also has some controversy associated with him regarding insider trading in Russian stocks.

You can easily generate more ideas from RePEc's ranking. But if your candidate does not have at least one article on Google Scholar with more than 1000 citations and their top ten papers do not each have hundreds of citations they probably don't have much chance. Actually there have been prediction markets in this, but currently I can't get anything at the website referred to.

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