American Claudia Goldin Wins Nobel Economics Prize 2023
On Monday (October 09, 2023), American economic historian Claudia Goldin was announced as the winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
The prestigious award is given each year for advances in the field of economics, but has faced ongoing controversy over its status as a Nobel Prize.
Where Did the Economics Nobel Come From?
Unlike the original five Nobel Prizes established in Alfred Nobel’s will, the economics award was created by Sweden’s central bank in 1968, more than 70 years after Nobel’s death. The bank funds the prize, which is administered by the Nobel Foundation and given “in memory of Alfred Nobel.”
Debates Around Legitimacy of the Prize
Critics argue the economics prize should not be counted as a real Nobel since it was not part of Nobel’s vision. The Nobel Foundation itself states the economics award is not actually a Nobel Prize.
Descendants of Nobel’s family have criticized the award, claiming it often goes to economists who contradict Alfred Nobel’s humanitarian ideals. Some laureates have even suggested the prize should be abolished.
Previous Controversial Winners
Past controversial picks include Milton Friedman, who was accused of supporting a Chilean dictatorship, and John Nash, who had a history of mental illness and erratic behavior.
There have also been objections over the lack of female recipients – only two women have ever won the economics Nobel.
How Are Winners Selected?
A committee appointed by Sweden’s Royal Academy of Sciences nominates candidates and selects winners. The pool of “qualified nominators” is small and kept confidential.
American economists have won over 60% of awards. Prizes acknowledge long-term research rather than current policy debates.
What Is Awarded to Winners?
The Nobel Prize includes a gold medal, diploma, and cash award now worth over $1 million. It almost guarantees the winner lifelong acclaim and prestige in the field of economics.