The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2009
October 12, 2009 5:13 AM   Subscribe

Surprise, surprise. It's a girl - for the first time. Elinor Ostrom ("for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons") and Oliver E. Williamson ("for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm") have won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2009.
posted by jfricke (42 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
While Elinor Ostrom is in Norway getting her Nobel Prize for Economics, back home in Bloomington is a set of events co-ordinated by Bloomington 350 with the IU Office of Sustainability. The subject is the management of common resources, which Garrett Hardin brought attention to with his landmark paper 'The Tragedy of the Commons.' While the problems are better understood, the optimism which abounded at the time the paper was published has faded, replaced by a new generationvirtual which grew up under different conditions. As the Pacific Gyre has grown to be the dumping ground for the material world, however, new commons have appeared, especially in the virtual realm. Hopefully, this marks a shift of economics from the self-referential to the ecolate.
posted by dragonsi55 at 5:53 AM on October 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


zzt: 'generationvirtual' = 'generation'
posted by dragonsi55 at 5:54 AM on October 12, 2009


Too soon.
posted by i_cola at 6:06 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


It is amazing and surprising when a prepubescent female can win a Nobel Prize in economics. Now that they are giving these to girls, it doesn't make Obama's Peace Prize win seem so silly.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:33 AM on October 12, 2009 [11 favorites]


Only seven years after recognising the existence of experiments, now field work gets a guernsey.
posted by hawthorne at 6:33 AM on October 12, 2009


While Elinor Ostrom is in Norway getting her Nobel Prize for Economics...

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Norway; the rest, in Sweden.
posted by Bukvoed at 6:38 AM on October 12, 2009


The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Norway; the rest, in Sweden.

Gosh, won't that be embarrasing when she shows up at the totally wrong place.
posted by contessa at 6:48 AM on October 12, 2009


I fully expect to see conservatives up in arms about this Nobel as well, as they have recently displayed how passionate they are about these prizes.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:51 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Norway; the rest, in Sweden.

Gosh, won't that be embarrasing when she shows up at the totally wrong place.

I am deeply ashamed to thus add to global warming.
posted by dragonsi55 at 7:03 AM on October 12, 2009


It is amazing and surprising when a prepubescent female can win a Nobel Prize in economics.

She is only 77. In Europe girls don't become women until their 80's.
posted by srboisvert at 7:05 AM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


at least it wasn't ben bernanke :P

krugman explains (for more on NIE)

oh and tabarrok approves...

also re: governing the commons

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 7:11 AM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Take that Eugene Fama! More like the 'IN-efficient market hyptothesis' AMIRITE?
posted by zpousman at 7:22 AM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


In your face, Chicago school!
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:27 AM on October 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


Is this still in keeping with the Friedmanite neoliberal orthodoxy the economic pseudo-Nobel is associated with?
posted by acb at 7:29 AM on October 12, 2009


Is this still in keeping with the Friedmanite neoliberal orthodoxy the economic pseudo-Nobel is associated with?

Fff!

Ostrom wins the prize and suddenly everyone's an expert.
posted by mazola at 7:32 AM on October 12, 2009


I can't wait to see how funds will use this to explain their Ponzi scheme. It is a lot easier when you use math no one understands (ARCH-style Engels). Oh wait, I have it, "Our fund makes money on sustainability between companies, we sell sustainability. If you have two firms interacting with each other where there's a loss of sustainability, we buy that and sell it back on the secondary market. We create a demand of sustainability and sustainability volatility with returns 8% above the S&P." Quick someone come up with a cover that contains a closeup of dew on a leaf. I'm already on to the next big idea, "High Yield Quantitative Sustainability Fund," we'll double our management fees on that one and really make a mint.
posted by geoff. at 7:37 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


A background briefing (pdf) from the committee on the research for which the prize was awarded.
posted by patricio at 7:39 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Will this unleash another wave of self-loathing by the Americans?
posted by mazola at 7:44 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mixing economics with prize money is a bad idea. Yet another example showing that the Nobel committee are a leftist enclave.

People should work on economics for the love of it, not for the money.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:00 AM on October 12, 2009


Agreed. Economics should have nothing to do with money.
posted by mazola at 8:02 AM on October 12, 2009


Take that Eugene Fama! More like the 'IN-efficient market hyptothesis' AMIRITE?

Yo mama Fama!
posted by lukemeister at 8:02 AM on October 12, 2009


Agreed. Economics should have nothing to do with money.

That might be Rushkoff's point.
posted by dragonsi55 at 8:08 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Agreed. Economics should have nothing to do with money.

Economics, like rape, is primarily about power.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:30 AM on October 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


Sheconomics, sorta like Herstory. And I'm all for it.

You go, girl Doctor Ostrum.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:31 AM on October 12, 2009


Ostrom, apologies.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:32 AM on October 12, 2009


Cool, Williamson's stuff on the boundaries of firms is one of those economic theories that has also proven important to a lot of other fields, including sociology. Good for him!
posted by blahblahblah at 8:33 AM on October 12, 2009


Matt Ygleasias:
Meanwhile, I would note that the Sveriges Riksbank itself deserves some kind of prize for ability to get people to call its economics prize “the Nobel Prize.” Real Nobel Prizes are prizes awarded according to the endowment that Alfred Nobel set up. There are, of course, lots of other prizes in the world set up by other people. One such prize is this economics prize that the Swedish Central Bank decided to give out. But only the Swedish Central Bank prize has succeeded in convincing people that it should be referred to as a “Nobel Prize” despite having no connection to Alfred Nobel or his prizes. Impressive work and yet another example of the impressively high-performing public sector institutions that make the Swedish social model work.
posted by delmoi at 8:47 AM on October 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


[Is that a Gomer Pyle reference, jfricke, or just a misspelling?]
posted by lothar at 9:28 AM on October 12, 2009


...yet another example of the impressively high-performing public sector institutions that make the Swedish social model work.

Awsome, Ygleasias.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:41 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, jfricke, I used to spell surprise the way you did up top of the thread and my first grade teacher, Sister Rita Ann, made me stay after school and spell it correctly, several times.

Surprise, surprise, SURPRISE....

I've never gotten it wrong since 1st grade. Maybe you could try that, too. :)
posted by Lynsey at 9:46 AM on October 12, 2009


I had no English teacher in first grade. I hope it's not too late now.

Surprise, surprise, surprise, surprise, surprise, surprise

I will not post things on metafilter without using spell-check
I will not post things on metafilter without using spell-check
I will not post things on metafilter without using spell-check
posted by jfricke at 10:35 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kudos to jfricke for a snarkless reply lacking in resentment at correction. Lynsey is a librarian...
posted by Cranberry at 11:08 AM on October 12, 2009


:) *tips hat to cranberry and jfricke* :)
posted by Lynsey at 11:10 AM on October 12, 2009


I've found Ostrom's work on the commons very useful for some work I've done on the commons. It's good to see that she is getting such prestigious recognition.
posted by knapah at 12:36 PM on October 12, 2009


There are, of course, lots of other prizes in the world set up by other people. One such prize is this economics prize that the Swedish Central Bank decided to give out. But only the Swedish Central Bank prize has succeeded in convincing people that it should be referred to as a “Nobel Prize” despite having no connection to Alfred Nobel or his prizes.

Yes the Economics Prize has "no connection to Alfred Nobel or his prizes". Well, except that the selection process is the same as for the Physics and Chemistry Prizes. And somehow they managed to get the prize listed on the nobelprize.org website along with the others. And even stranger is that they somehow managed to get their prize awarded with the other ones in the same ceremony. But aside from that it really has no connection to the other Nobel prizes.
posted by euphorb at 12:39 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


[I have made the post less suprising. Carry on.]
posted by cortex at 12:54 PM on October 12, 2009


cortex is always so hopeful.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:00 PM on October 12, 2009


Yes the Economics Prize has "no connection to Alfred Nobel or his prizes". Well, except that the selection process is the same as for the Physics and Chemistry Prizes. And somehow they managed to get the prize listed on the nobelprize.org website along with the others. And even stranger is that they somehow managed to get their prize awarded with the other ones in the same ceremony. But aside from that it really has no connection to the other Nobel prizes.

It was invented wholecloth 40 years ago and was not established by Nobel. It is an award given by the same people who decided that they wanted to have an award for psuedoscientific bullshit artists economists and decided to use the prestige of the Nobel name to do it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:26 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well then, sounds like a great prize to give to a woman that isn't even an economist.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:42 PM on October 12, 2009


It was invented wholecloth 40 years ago and was not established by Nobel. It is an award given by the same people who decided that they wanted to have an award for psuedoscientific bullshit artists economists and decided to use the prestige of the Nobel name to do it.

I really can't stand this attitude. Anti-intellectualism is just as ugly when the left does it.
posted by ripley_ at 6:30 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


re: Economics should have nothing to do with money.

just happened to be in the economist this week:
The nature of wealth
The world confused financial assets with real ones


If a pizza is cut into eight instead of four slices, there is no more food to eat. If everyone sitting at the table is given shares in the pizza and the share price rises from $1 to $2, the meal will still be no bigger.

A rise in share prices that is caused by a rerating does not make us richer in aggregate, unless that rerating represents an accurate prediction about an improvement in an economy’s long-term growth rate.

Thinking about wealth in this way is also useful when assessing rescue packages for the economy. Will these policies boost the amount of goods and services the economy produces in the long run, or will they have consequences that actually restrict economic activity?

Central banks have repeatedly intervened to rescue financial markets, or paper wealth, over the past 20 years. But have they propped up prices at levels that simply do not reflect the long-term fundamentals?
cf. the money illusion

btw here's another roundup...
posted by kliuless at 7:11 PM on October 12, 2009


If a pizza is cut into eight instead of four slices, there is no more food to eat. If everyone sitting at the table is given shares in the pizza and the share price rises from $1 to $2, the meal will still be no bigger.

However, if people are given pizza ingredients and promised a quarter of the output, rather then an 8th, it will incentivize them to engage in pizza production, and will, in fact, result in more total pizzas.
posted by delmoi at 4:14 AM on October 13, 2009


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