Nobel prize in Economic "Sciences"!?

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Sanaz3, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Sanaz3


    I wonder why the Nobel foundation gives prizes to Economists as 'Economics' is not a science at all? According to Wikipedia, 'science' is defined as:

    Also, what Barack Obama had done to deserve the Nobel peace prize?:confused:
  2. piezoe


    There is not a true Nobel Prize in Economics -- it wasn't part of Nobel's will. The Economics community created the prize on their own "In Memory of Alfred Nobel" and apparently the Academy was willing to go along. It was funded by a bank and first awarded in 1969. So in a sense it's the Economists giving themselves a pat on the back, well maybe more than a pat. There is no prize in mathematics either. Mathematics is not a science and some economists argue that calling economics a science is a misnomer. I wonder if the Academy would go along with establishing a "Nobel Prize in Securities Fraud." One could argue that securities fraud is at least as much of a science as economics. Goldman Sachs could easily fund the prize with the money they saved by getting off so lightly with the SEC, and then they could nominate themselves. I suppose they'd run into a problem satisfying the requirement that the contribution made benefit mankind, but then again, the Academy did go along with the economists, so I guess anything is possible.
  3. Wikipedia is hardly a definitive source. In any case economics fits the description. What makes the science aspect of economics harder to test and reproduce is that it is a social science. People unlike physical substances adapt and change their behavior and do not remain static. Most people don't understand science well enough to give an informed opinion. Science or not, it can be argued the prize in economics is as important as, maybe even more so than, the others.
  4. Uh, accept for the fact that someone as inaccurate and back-asswards as Krugman can win one.
  5. Krugman has been one of the more accurate commentators out there even if he did not call the current financial crisis. If you wish to allow your partisanship to color your judgment that is your problem. If the award to Krugman is not worth much then the awards to Friedman and Hayek are suspect as well.
  6. Oh really? Like this sort of pinpoint accuracy?

    I don't know why anyone still listens to Krugman. His Nobel Prize is as worthless as Obama's. Listen to his "wisdom" about 5 years before the housing/credit crisis:

    "To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble."

    - Paul Krugman, Dubya’s Double Dip, August 2nd, 2002

    Compare to:

    "Congress should act to remove taxpayer support from the housing GSEs before the bubble bursts and taxpayers are once again forced to bail out investors who were misled by foolish government interference in the market. I therefore hope this committee will soon stand up for American taxpayers and investors by acting on my Free Housing Market Enhancement Act."

    - Ron Paul in the House Financial Services Committee, September 10, 2003

    /thread. But if you really want more, here's a small sampling:

    “During phases of weak growth there are always those who say that lower interest rates will not help. They overlook the fact that low interest rates act through several channels. For instance, more housing is built, which expands the building sector. You must ask the opposite question: why in the world shouldn’t you lower interest rates?”

    May 2, 2001

    I’ve always favored the let-bygones-be-bygones view over the crime-and-punishment view. That is, I’ve always believed that a speculative bubble need not lead to a recession, as long as interest rates are cut quickly enough to stimulate alternative investments. But I had to face the fact that speculative bubbles usually are followed by recessions. My excuse has been that this was because the policy makers moved too slowly — that central banks were typically too slow to cut interest rates in the face of a burst bubble, giving the downturn time to build up a lot of momentum. That was why I, like many others, was frustrated at the smallish cut at the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting: I was pretty sure that Alan Greenspan had the tools to prevent a disastrous recession, but worried that he might be getting behind the curve.

    However, let’s give credit where credit is due: Mr. Greenspan has cut rates since then. And while some of us may have been urging him to move even faster, the Fed’s four interest-rate cuts since the slowdown became apparent represent an unusually aggressive response by historical standards. It’s still not clear that Mr. Greenspan has caught up with the curve — let’s have at least one more rate cut, please — but the interest-rate cuts do, cross your fingers, seem to be having an effect.

    If we succeed in avoiding recession, this will mark a big win for let- bygones-be-bygones, and a big loss for crime-and-punishment. And that will be very good news not just for this business cycle, but for business cycles to come.

    July 18, 2001

    “KRUGMAN: I think frankly it’s got to be — business investment is not going to be the driving force in this recovery. It has to come from things like housing, things that have not been (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

    DOBBS: We see, Paul, housing at near record levels, we see automobile purchases near record levels. The consumer is still very much in this economy. Can he or she — or I should say he and she, can they bring back this economy?

    KRUGMAN: Well, as far as the arithmetic goes, yes, it is possible. Will the Fed cut interest rates enough? Will long-term rates fall enough to get the consumer, get the housing sector there in time? We don’t know”

    August 8^th 2001

    “KRUGMAN: I’m a little depressed. You know, inventories, probably that’s over, the inventory slump. But you look at the things that could drive a recovery, business investment, nothing happening. Housing, long-term rates haven’t fallen enough to produce a boom there. The trade balance is going to get worst before it gets better because the dollar is still very strong. It’s not a happy picture.”

    August 14, 2001

    “Consumers, who already have low savings and high debt, probably can’t contribute much. But housing, which is highly sensitive to interest rates, could help lead a recovery…. But there has been a peculiar disconnect between Fed policy and the financial variables that affect housing and trade. Housing demand depends on long-term rather than short-term interest rates — and though the Fed has cut short rates from 6.5 to 3.75 percent since the beginning of the year, the 10-year rate is slightly higher than it was on Jan. 1…. Sooner or later, of course, investors will realize that 2001 isn’t 1998. When they do, mortgage rates and the dollar will come way down, and the conditions for a recovery led by housing and exports will be in place.

    This could go on for days. He couldn't have been more wrong about housing and the success of the "recovery" we got. Only a partisan zombie would call him "accurate."
  7. Krugman puts out a sea of comments in his columns yet the most damning evidence against Krugman that could be produced was in the years 2001 and 2002 when the world was at the last cyclical bust? Puhleese. That's like saying a call to buy the market of 1996 was a bad one — in 2002. I'd be happy to have been one of those idiots who bought in the late 90s and got scared out by the Millennium bug and never got back in.