Friday, October 11, 2002

Andy writes:
Joe wrote, "Chicago economists have dominated for the last 10-15 years." Interesting point, which led me to do some research.

Only established in 1969 and funded by the Swedish Federal Reserve (not Nobel), the Economics "Nobel" Prize has had a huge pro-quantitative bias. The publicized award to mathematician John Nash is a case in point. Did he ever even study or write about economics? )I'd question the movie's portrayal of him thinking about Adam Smith in the bar when he had his insight.)

Chicago likes the quantification approach and thus has done well with this prize. But I haven't heard of any of the prize-winners, except arguably Friedman (1976 winner), being conservative. Most of them tend to be utilitarian liberals, like Posner.

That's not to knock Chicago, though. Coase, an Englishman, did his great work there, and he ultimately did win an unshared Nobel Prize after an inordinate delay of 31 years. Judge Easterbrook, one of the best appellate judges in the country, came out of Chicago. So did Talent and Ashbrook.

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