For the past several years, the scientific intelligence company Thomson Reuters releases their prediction for the current years Nobel Prizes based on citation data. The predictions have tended to be solid in the natural sciences, less so in the field of economics. Nevertheless, once the predictions are made, the conversations over coffeee among economists begin in earnest. This year the prediction is one that is very much welcomed by the contributors and readers of Coordination Problem.
Philippe M. Aghion
Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA USA
Peter W. Howitt
Lyn Crost Professor Emeritus of Social Sciences and Professor Emeritus of Economics, Brown University
Providence, RI USA
For contributions to Schumpeterian growth theory
William J. Baumol
Professor of Economics and Harold Price Professor of Entrepreneurship, New York University
New York, NY USA
Israel M. Kirzner
Emeritus Professor of Economics, New York University
New York, NY USA
For their advancement of the study of entrepreneurism
Mark S. Granovetter
Joan Butler Ford Professor and Chair of Sociology, and Joan Butler Ford Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University
Stanford, CA USA
For his pioneering research in economic sociology
We have been arguing for Kirzner to win the award --- and even this particular pairing --- for as long as the blog has existed. See, e.g., this post from 2005.
In 2006, Kirzner was awarded a different prize from Swedish academics for his pioneering work on entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial market process, and we speculated that we had hoped it foreshadowed another recognition from Sweden. Also in 2006, Kirzner received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics. And then again in 2013, Israel Kirzner received the Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Order Award for his outstanding contributions to economic science.
The September 2014 issue of the Review of Austrian Economics is comprised of the papers given in Kirzner's honors at the FSSO conference, plus his remarks upon receiving this recognition.
Fred Sautet and I are the editors of The Collected Works of Israel M. Kirzner (published by Liberty Fund), so we are no doubt biased, but we have (together and separately) on many occasions to explain to different audiences the fundamental importance of Kirzner's contributions in the history, methodology, analytics, and application of the Mises-Hayek-Kirzner theory of price and the competitive market process. One of these papers is entitled "The Genius of Mises and the Brilliance of Kirzner." On another occasion, I tried to explain "The Function of Market Agitation" that Kirzner's work explores. And still yet on another occasion, I have attempted to articulate why from a purely economic theory point of view Kirzner deserves the highest recognition that the discipline has to offer due to his solving of a foundational issue in price theory.
It is my sincere hope that Thomson Reuters prediction is correct and that the economics profession will have the occasion to reflect on the fundamental contributions that Israel Kirzner made throughout his career to the scholarship and science of economics. But even if the prediction proves to be incorrect, I hope that the fact that his name has been so widely circulated as a consequence, that an appreciation for his fundamental work in providing the disequilibrium foundations of equilibrium economics will be recognized and a new appreciation for the subtle and profound theoretical system of Mises, Hayek and Kirzner spreads and their work ignites an intellectual curiosity in our profession at the deepest level of fundamental theory and our methods of analysis.