Memo to Stockholm


As the Swedes prepare to crown the next Nobel laureate in economics, Timothy Virkkala offers some suggestions to the Academy.

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  1. Hans-Hermann Hoppe notes here…..erview.pdf : “among
    Austrian economists there has been some speculation why Hayek’s recognition came so
    late (in 1974). One highly plausible explanation is this: If the prize is awarded for the
    development of the Mises-Hayek business cycle, then as long as both Mises and Hayek
    are still alive you can hardly give the prize to Hayek without giving it also to Mises. Yet
    Mises was a life-long opponent of paper money (and a proponent of the classical gold
    standard) and of government central banking?and the prize money for the economics
    “Nobel” was “donated” by the Swedish National Bank. Mises, then, so to speak, was
    persona non grata for the “donors.” Only after Mises had died in 1973, then, was the way
    free to give the prize to Hayek, who, in contrast to his “intransigent” master and mentor,
    had shown himself sufficiently willing to compromise, “flexible,” and “reasonable.””

    Hoppe notes here…..ectual.pdf :

    “A&K: Supposing you sat on the Nobel Prize committee for economics, who would you
    consider deserves the Prize?please exclude yourself.
    HHH: Anyone of the leading lights associated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
    However, the nominating committee is filled with statists, and the prize itself has been
    established by the Swedish Central Bank, and so, given the fact that Misesian economists
    are uncompromising free-marketeers and oppose in particular any form of monetary
    socialism (central banks), their chance of ever winning the prize is virtually zero.
    A&K: Why would you nominate them?
    HHH: Because Misesian – Austro-libertarian – economists have the best grasp of the
    operation of free markets and of the detrimental effects of government (states) on the
    formation of wealth and general prosperity. This is illustrated by the fact that Mises, and
    those economists following in his footsteps, have by far the best record in predicting the
    outcome of socialism, of the modern redistributive welfare-state, and in particular of
    government-controlled paper-money regimes and of central banking.”

  2. The “waiting for Mises to die” rationale may explain the Hayek award. But the Swedes apparently got over the problem of dual citation when it awarded the prize only to Buchanan and not to Tullock, for Public Choice theory.

    I understand a possible antipathy to Mises (that darn intransigence!) but Tullock? Was he – is he? – any more intransigent than Buchanan?

    Ah, the things to ponder in the Nobel Season.

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