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The Nobel Factor: The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy, and the Market Turn

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How the creation of the Nobel Prize in Economics changed the economics profession, Sweden, and the world Economic theory may be speculative, but its impact is powerful and real. Since the 1970s, it has been closely associated with a sweeping change around the world--the market turn. This is what Avner Offer and Gabriel S�derberg call the rise of market liberalism, a movemen How the creation of the Nobel Prize in Economics changed the economics profession, Sweden, and the world Economic theory may be speculative, but its impact is powerful and real. Since the 1970s, it has been closely associated with a sweeping change around the world--the market turn. This is what Avner Offer and Gabriel S�derberg call the rise of market liberalism, a movement that, seeking to replace social democracy, holds up buying and selling as the norm for human relations and society. Our confidence in markets comes from economics, and our confidence in economics is underpinned by the Nobel Prize in Economics, which was first awarded in 1969. Was it a coincidence that the market turn and the prize began at the same time? The Nobel Factor, the first book to describe the origins and power of the most important prize in economics, explores this and related questions by examining the history of the prize, the history of economics since the prize began, and the simultaneous struggle between market liberals and social democrats in Sweden, Europe, and the United States. The Nobel Factor tells how the prize, created by the Swedish central bank, emerged from a conflict between central bank orthodoxy and social democracy. The aim was to use the halo of the Nobel brand to enhance central bank authority and the prestige of market-friendly economics, in order to influence the future of Sweden and the rest of the developed world. And this strategy has worked, with sometimes disastrous results for societies striving to cope with the requirements of economic theory and deregulated markets. Drawing on previously untapped Swedish national bank archives and providing a unique analysis of the sway of prizewinners, The Nobel Factor offers an unprecedented account of the real-world consequences of economics--and its greatest prize.


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How the creation of the Nobel Prize in Economics changed the economics profession, Sweden, and the world Economic theory may be speculative, but its impact is powerful and real. Since the 1970s, it has been closely associated with a sweeping change around the world--the market turn. This is what Avner Offer and Gabriel S�derberg call the rise of market liberalism, a movemen How the creation of the Nobel Prize in Economics changed the economics profession, Sweden, and the world Economic theory may be speculative, but its impact is powerful and real. Since the 1970s, it has been closely associated with a sweeping change around the world--the market turn. This is what Avner Offer and Gabriel S�derberg call the rise of market liberalism, a movement that, seeking to replace social democracy, holds up buying and selling as the norm for human relations and society. Our confidence in markets comes from economics, and our confidence in economics is underpinned by the Nobel Prize in Economics, which was first awarded in 1969. Was it a coincidence that the market turn and the prize began at the same time? The Nobel Factor, the first book to describe the origins and power of the most important prize in economics, explores this and related questions by examining the history of the prize, the history of economics since the prize began, and the simultaneous struggle between market liberals and social democrats in Sweden, Europe, and the United States. The Nobel Factor tells how the prize, created by the Swedish central bank, emerged from a conflict between central bank orthodoxy and social democracy. The aim was to use the halo of the Nobel brand to enhance central bank authority and the prestige of market-friendly economics, in order to influence the future of Sweden and the rest of the developed world. And this strategy has worked, with sometimes disastrous results for societies striving to cope with the requirements of economic theory and deregulated markets. Drawing on previously untapped Swedish national bank archives and providing a unique analysis of the sway of prizewinners, The Nobel Factor offers an unprecedented account of the real-world consequences of economics--and its greatest prize.

47 review for The Nobel Factor: The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy, and the Market Turn

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kamran Tahir

    A good read on history and purpose of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences!!! Avner Offer and Gabriel Sodenberg argue that (unlike physics, chemistry, medicine) economics is not a science – its laws do not hold true most of the time. It’s practitioners can’t ever agree on prescriptions to steer an economy in intended direction. The authors recall the role of the Swedish central bank and it’s president at the time, Per Åsbrink, to grant some semblance of actuality of outcome to economics A good read on history and purpose of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences!!! Avner Offer and Gabriel Sodenberg argue that (unlike physics, chemistry, medicine) economics is not a science – its laws do not hold true most of the time. It’s practitioners can’t ever agree on prescriptions to steer an economy in intended direction. The authors recall the role of the Swedish central bank and it’s president at the time, Per Åsbrink, to grant some semblance of actuality of outcome to economics. Their alleged purpose was to undermine social democracy prevailing in Sweden and to convert the leadership in countries (leaning towards social democracy) to neo-liberalism.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Miroslaw Aleksander

    Offers an interesting a comprehensive discussion of a crucial issue, but plagued by several issues. Some chapters are very detailed, and much of this will be lost on readers without a background in economics. Some chapters strongly focus on Sweden, which, again may become tedious for readers interested in a more general approach. The authors also start being fairly repetitive at one point, which finally made me only skim through the last parts of the book. Also, it would be beneficial if the aut Offers an interesting a comprehensive discussion of a crucial issue, but plagued by several issues. Some chapters are very detailed, and much of this will be lost on readers without a background in economics. Some chapters strongly focus on Sweden, which, again may become tedious for readers interested in a more general approach. The authors also start being fairly repetitive at one point, which finally made me only skim through the last parts of the book. Also, it would be beneficial if the authors explained some assumptions they make.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gerald Friedman

    Good book. But very uneven Superb study of Nobel Prize in Economics, of how it was established, who won, and why. Second half is highly repetitive and less interesting. Overall, well worth reading.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anders Ljung

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kael

  6. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

  7. 4 out of 5

    Giles A

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wenfei Xu

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Schauer

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nick Huntington-Klein

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aleksi

  13. 4 out of 5

    Claire Bronchick

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bolin Zhou

  15. 5 out of 5

    Zoltan Pogatsa

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tran

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kaelyn Apple

  18. 4 out of 5

    David

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amar Baines

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  21. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Finley

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mikk

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  24. 4 out of 5

    David

  25. 5 out of 5

    Luzia

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Stricklan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tim Tyler

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rustom

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maytham Abdulraheem

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  31. 4 out of 5

    Hoang Phuong

  32. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  33. 5 out of 5

    Lasse Skou Lindstad

  34. 5 out of 5

    Jovan

  35. 5 out of 5

    Alex Catalán Flores

  36. 5 out of 5

    Tiantian Zha

  37. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  38. 5 out of 5

    John Cranfield

  39. 4 out of 5

    Emmanuel Okochu

  40. 4 out of 5

    Radovan Kavický

  41. 5 out of 5

    Sakie Jakharia

  42. 4 out of 5

    Suprabhath

  43. 4 out of 5

    Neha Kumra

  44. 5 out of 5

    thomas

  45. 4 out of 5

    Rohith

  46. 4 out of 5

    Jane Dugger

  47. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

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