Why Is There a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics?

The Nobel Memorial Prize defines high achievement in economics, and it validates the discipline’s claim for scientific authority. And yet, historically, it can be understood as a reflection of domestic policy conflicts in Sweden. This, Philip Mirowski would say, is but one example of the multifaceted nature of history. He and his team investigate how the Bank of Sweden’s goal of political independence wound up elevating the status of neoclassical thinking within the economics profession. Writing the history of the Nobel Memorial Prize to tease out the influence of economic doctrines on policy norms in recent decades — this is new economic thinking.

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