Marco's blog An [almost] daily rant 

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

This year's Nobel Prize in Economics goes to an experimentalist interested in individual behaviour. Economists always consider it newsworthy when they learn that people do not always behave rationally. When people are simultaneously voters, taxpayers, and tax recipients, what are the implications for being generous with other people's money? The lack of virtue in being generous with other people's money is a staple of conservative and libertarian thought, with some libertarians (objectivists HATE when I lump them in with libertarians) questioning generosity as general principle. All forms of government give [other] irrational people control over our money (and more). As we might say in Coffee Talk, discuss. And, while the Nobel science prizes award monumental achievements (often to those with Hopkins connections), and the economics prize usually does, and the literature sometimes does, I agree with Richard Cohen, Michael Kelly, and Tunku Varadarajan that the peace prize is usually awarded too soon, and all too often, to the undeserving. If it took a lifetime to earn a peace prize, maybe the committee would not appear so foolish, so often.

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