Friday, October 06, 2006

Ig Nobels of Economics

A blog reader asks me why there weren't any Ig Nobels in economics this year. I don't know the answer, but there have been economic winners in past years. Here are a couple examples from Wikipedia:

1993 - Presented to Ravi Batra of Southern Methodist University, shrewd economist and best-selling author of The Great Depression of 1990 and Surviving the Great Depression of 1990, for selling enough copies of his books to single-handedly prevent worldwide economic collapse.

2001 - Presented to Joel Slemrod, of the University of Michigan Business School, and Wojciech Kopczuk, of the University of British Columbia, for their conclusion that people find a way to postpone their deaths if that would qualify them for a lower rate on the inheritance tax.

The paper by Kopczuk and Slemrod was published by the Review of Economics and Statistics, a journal run by some of my colleagues here at Harvard.