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Work or altruism? the Nobel Prize in Economics closes the prize season

The American Claudia Goldin, professor at Harvard and specialist in labor and economic history, is the darling to obtain the reward, announced at 11:45 am (09:45 GMT) in Stockholm.

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Work or altruism? the Nobel Prize in Economics closes the prize season

The American Claudia Goldin, professor at Harvard and specialist in labor and economic history, is the darling to obtain the reward, announced at 11:45 am (09:45 GMT) in Stockholm.

The only one not to have been provided for in Alfred Nobel's will, this prize created by the Swedish Central Bank "in memory" of the inventor was added in 1969 to the five traditional awards (medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace), earning him the nickname of "false Nobel" among his detractors.

Against the background of a global inflationary wave and the energy crisis in Europe, the Nobel committee should abandon specialists in monetary policy, says Hubert Fromlet, professor at the Swedish University Linné.

"Monetary policy has failed so badly, and there's no good theorist who's got it right, so to speak," the academic, who keeps a list of Nobel laureates in economics, told AFP.

Like others, he considers Claudia Goldin, whose name has been circulating for several years, as the favorite for a prize which has so far crowned only two women out of a total of 89 winners.

"She is a historian, she is a labor economist, she has studied women in the labor market, the wage gap between men and women, but also on the value of education in economic matters. She has does a lot," said David Pendlebury, Nobel forecaster at the Clarivate Institute.

American Elinor Ostrom (2009) and Franco-American Esther Duflo (2019) are the only women to have won the award so far.

"I would almost be disappointed if no women were among the winners," says Fromlet.

The name of another labor economist, the Belgian Marianne Bertrand, is also mentioned, as well as the American-Canadian Janet Currie, a specialist in anti-poverty policies, or the American Anne Krueger, a former World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

According to Mr Pendlebury, a relevant co-winner of the prize with Ms Goldin would be Briton Richard Blundell, another labor expert but from an economic point of view.

- Development and poverty -

The expert also cites the American octogenarians Sam Bowles and Herbert Gintis, two specialists in altruistic cooperation whose work contrasts with the principles of individualism of classical theory.

“At the beginning of their career, people said they were communists,” notes Mr. Pendlebury. "They are not really communists (...) They just have a different perspective, it would be a very interesting price".

Enough to compete with the Frenchman Thomas Piketty, author of the international bestseller "Capital in the 21st century" and specialists in wealth inequalities, often mentioned in recent years.

Development economics and its work on poor countries would also make a good choice, according to Hubert Fromlet.

Last year, the American-Canadian David Card, the American-Israeli Joshua Angrist and the American-Dutch Guido Imbe were crowned for their work in experimental economics.

On Friday, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to imprisoned Belarusian activist Ales Beliatski, the NGO Memorial and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties in the midst of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

The day before, Annie Ernaux had become the first Frenchwoman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, after 15 men.

The Nobel Prize for Medicine had opened the ball by crowning the Swede Svante Pääbo last Monday, father of Denisova's man and cartographer of the DNA of the Neanderthal man.

That of physics rewarded the next day the Frenchman Alain Aspect, the Austrian Anton Zeilinger and the American John Clauser for their discoveries on the revolutionary mechanism of "quantum entanglement", proving Albert Einstein himself wrong.

On Wednesday, it was a trio, the Americans Carolyn Bertozzi and Barry Sharpless together with the Dane Morten Meldal, who had been crowned in chemistry for "the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry", with an extremely rare second prize for M .Sharpless.

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