Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics
October 18, 2021
The Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics (Swedish Sveriges Riksbanks pris i ekonomisk vetenskap till Alfred Nobels minne, literally "The Swedish National Bank's Prize in Economics in Memory of Alfred Nobel") is donated in 1968 by the Swedish National Bank on the occasion of its 300th anniversary and in 1969 for the first time awarded prize, which is considered the most prestigious in the field of economics. Since it is awarded annually together with the Nobel Prizes and is endowed with the same prize money, it is generally referred to as the Nobel Prize for Economics or the Nobel Prize in Economics; an official German name does not exist. The price is controversial for a number of reasons. In particular, the approximate equation with the Nobel Prizes raises the question of whether the prize is in the sense of Nobel and whether it is appropriate to give economics such a prominent position. One argument put forward is that the prize is not in the sense of Nobel, as he had an aversion to economics and presumably did not see a meaning comparable to the categories he himself chose. Furthermore, the argument is often put forward that economics, as an applied science, should not be placed on the same level as the fundamental sciences that Nobel had considered worthy of prizes. Nobel's great-grandchildren and members of other awarding bodies also commented negatively on the establishment of the prize. From a sociological perspective, the prize contributes to a broader perception of economics, especially in comparison to other social sciences such as political science or sociology. The award increases the symbolic capital of the award winners within and outside of economics, from which US economists in particular benefit, who by far provide the most award winners. Many award winners - including Milton Friedman and Paul Krugman - used or are using the symbolic capital thus gained for political interventions.