More on the Noble Prize (or the Economics Prize in Memory of Nobel)
| David Hoopes |
Since the O&Mers have been so quiet about the N prize I guess I’ll ramble a bit. In a comment on one of Peter’s posts I mentioned Demsetz and Alchian. For some reason I had it in my head that A.A. had already won. That’s what I get for staying at UCLA for so long (Alchian had just quit teaching when I got there).
I don’t know why I thought Alchian had won it. “Production, Information costs and Economic Organization” (with Harold Demsetz), American Economic Review 62 (1972): 777-95 is a pretty amazing paper. And “Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process” (with Robert Crawford and Bejamin Klein), Journal of Law and Economics (1978) has been very influential. Though I think people think of Ben Klein for that paper. As noted above, Alchian is very well known for (and thought of because of ) “Uncertainty, Evolution and Economic Theory,” Journal of Political Economy 58 (1950): 211-21.
Having said all that, I think srp is correct in that Alchian’s best chance is going in with Nelson and Winter for evolutionary economics or Demsetz and Williamson or Oliver Hart for theory of the firm. It’s hard to imagine that evolutionary economics is that appreciated. I think Sid Winter is grossly underrated. His body of work in economics and strategy is pretty amazing.
As readers of my posts might guess, I am a pretty big fan of Demsetz. I don’t know that Harold is as productive or quantitative as most award givers might like. Stilger and Coase were pretty big fans. But, Hart and Williamson seem more likely award winners.
Over at orgtheory.net they’ve been discussing sociologists and management people who (in some alternate universe) might win. There are not too many Herb Simons out there.