In 2011 the Nobel Prize in Economics has been given to two macroeconomists Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims. At the juncture of deep economic crisis worldwide; particularly in North America and Europe what is the contemporary relevance of Sargent and Sims’ ‘seminal work’ in 1970s? Does the Nobel Committee try to prove any point regarding the burning issues centering global economic crisis? To get an answer we have to analyze the Nobel in Economics from its historical perspective.
The Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics in 2009 has been awarded to Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson. Their work separately on economic governance and rationale for property right structures is a more sophisticated rationale for capitalism and by extension its reigning-ideology-now-in-crisis - neoliberalism. The works of Coase, North and Williamson are the three pillars on which the ‘sophistication’ of ‘new institutional economics’ that informed the ‘good governance’ agenda of post-Washington neoliberal consensus was built upon. So it is not surprising that the Nobel memorial prize goes to the more 'sophisticated' theorists at a time when the 'crude' version faces a severe crisis of legitimacy.
Oliver Williamson, co-recipient with Elinor Ostrom of this year's Nobel memorial prize for Economics, may have never thought of himself as an agony aunt. But it was his ideas that taught me the value of commitment in personal relationships.
While attention is focussed on the imperialist rigging of the Nobel 'Peace' Prize, Professor Jayati Ghosh argues in the Guardian that the Nobel prize for Economics may need its own bail out. Facing a similar crisis of legitimacy, the prize needs to prove it is much more than an award for stockmarket speculators.
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