Posts Tagged ‘Economist’

Economist on Economics Nobel 2007

October 19, 2007

On Steve Levitt’s recommendation at the Freakonomics blog, I checked out the article on this year’s Economics Nobel at the Economist called Intelligent Design (?).

The first paragraph put me off a bit:

“WHAT on earth is mechanism design?” was the typical reaction to this year’s Nobel prize in economics, announced on October 15th. In this era of “Freakonomics”, in which everyone is discovering their inner economist, economics has become unexpectedly sexy. So what possessed the Nobel committee to honour a subject that sounds so thoroughly dismal? Why didn’t they follow the lead of the peace-prize judges, who know not to let technicalities about being true to the meaning of the award get in the way of good headlines?

Why that cheap shot at the Peace Nobel? And, is the reference to this year’s peace prize, or, to the peace prize in general?

There are a couple of more such unseemly sentences in the rest of the article too:

… a statistical condition called “Maskin monotonicity”, which might not be the sort of thing to mention at parties.

… Yet, despite the importance of the topic, The Economist suspects there are no plans for “Mechanism Design—The Movie”.

Ok! Is it just me, or others are also getting a feeling that somebody at the Economist is not too happy with the ignorance among the public about the importance of mechanism design?

Apart from that, it is readable.