The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics

Avner Offer of Oxford University, Philip Mirowski of the University of Notre Dame, and Gabriel Soderberg of Uppsala University were awarded a grant by the Institute for New Economic Thinking for a research project to investigate the influence of economic doctrines on policy norms in recent decades through analysis of the history of the Nobel Prize in Economics.

The Nobel Memorial Prize defines high achievement in economics, and validates the discipline’s claim for scientific authority. And yet, historically, it can be understood as a reflection of domestic policy conflicts in Sweden. In the 1970s-90s, the prize committee was dominated by Assar Lindbeck, and lent authority to his domestic liberal policy agenda. Likewise, outside Sweden, between the 1970s and the 1990s, the prize tended to reinforce a market-liberal policy agenda.

The research project will analyze the extent to which the selection of a Nobel winner played a role in the advancement of theoretical and policy agendas in other countries, especially the USA.

Professor of History
University of Oxford
Carl Koch Chair of Economics and the History and Philosophy of Science
University of Notre Dame
Uppsala University