May 2016

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« So Little Time, So Many Fallacious Arguments to Refute | Main | Foreign Intervention: A Case for Humility (Or, why I am a peacemonger) »


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I hope so, too. Fingers crossed!

On a different not, I thought I'd reproduce a thought I also left at MR:

Wasn’t there some inside-information story about certain people having access to information about the stock trades made by key industry or government players, and using that to guide their own trades?

A passing thought: Might Thomson Reuters have info about certain computers in Sweden accessing citation information about Baumol, Kirzner, Granovetter, etc.?

The current Prize Committee consists of the following individuals:

Committee 2014 Members: Tore Ellingsen (Chairman), Mats Persson, Tomas Sjöström, Per Strömberg, Peter Gärdenfors, Torsten Persson (Secretary)

Associate Members: John Hassler, Eva Mörk, Peter Englund, Jakob Svensson

Is it possible for Thomson Reuters to trace citation searches on their system to the institutions of those individuals?

The Thomson Reuters press release says: “After a thorough review of citations, along with various qualitative measures, Thomson Reuters analysts identify the highest-impact researchers to be included among its Citation Laureates, who are likely winners of the Nobel Prize now or in the future.”

Could tracing the citation searches of certain Swedish users be among “the various qualitative measures”? I don’t see any further elaboration of their method.

I don’t see how, simply by looking at citations, Thomson Reuters could possibly come up with guesses like those they make for Econ.

Or is there another way to explain how they come up with their guesses?

If I were on the Nobel committee I would do whatever I wanted and find the rationalization later. However, I do think that the fact that Kirzner has not published in the major journals (except for an invited JEL article and some 1962 JPE pieces) will count against him. I cannot imagine what could be said about how he has *influenced* economists (beyond us). Of course, they might take the tack that his work is important and deserves to have an influence. How often do they do that? Well, no need to speculate. We shall know in due course.

Dan raises an interesting issue. I would ask what does Thompson Reuters get out of being in the prediction game? If Dan is correct, Thompson Reuters is expending significant resources to collect data. What is the nature of the business modeL?


This is there business --- they are the producer of the Citation Indexes, each year around Nobel time, they generate a buzz around their business of science data collection. Their services of measuring scientific impact have a huge impact throughout the world.

I think folks are getting hung up on the Kirzner pick and their "impression" of his citation impact in economics proper. First, Aghion and Howett are clearly very influential in the current practice of economics. Second, Granovetter is the leading figure in the field of economic sociology. So these picks are not at all out of the ordinary --- no more so than a pick in the pass such as Elinor Ostrom, or even I would say James Buchanan. Finally, Baumol has long been rumored to be on the short list, and not just for his work on entrepreneurship, but for his work in general, including his fundamental contribution to cultural economics with the cost disease. So Kirzner is the issue that is tripping folks up. But this should NOT be the case. (1) He has for a long time been coupled with Baumol professionally as the man who reintroduced the entrepreneur into modern economics. This is why he had the JEL survey, but also why he already won the award from the Swedish government on fundamental contributions to entrepreneurship. (2) He is a very influential figure --- though he would deny this --- in the field of strategic management and entrepreneurship. This has been true for years, as major figures in that field (teaching in business schools and public policy departments and publishing in specialized journals) have been citing him and his idea of alertness, etc. for years. I personally have been on dissertations in several countries, including right here at GMU in public policy, where Kirzner receives his mandatory citations without any intervention on my part.

Besides citation measures --- which IS the business of Thomson Reuters --- they do mention qualitative measures. There method could be simply the leaders (gain through doing an qualitative survey of representative thinkers) in various fields. There is an interesting thread connecting all 3 areas --- Schumpeterian growth, entrepreneurship, and economic sociology --- they could all be interpreted to be a recognition of Schumpeter's legacy in the social sciences and thus some notion of evolutionary economics. That is pure speculation on my part, but in different parts of Europe, this idea of an evolutionary economics is very big and thus perhaps they are picking up on a more general trend in citations, and then breaking that down into sub-trends.

I don't know, but I find the opportunity that Thomson-Reuters "prediction" provides for us to talk about Kirzner's contributions to economic science to be just fascinating. If it turns out that their prediction comes true, then my fascination will turn to sheer joy as a man of great integrity and humility will have been justly awarded the highest honor our profession has to offer, and what a role model that would be to the young scholars hoping to follow in his footsteps. Sheer joy.


With respect, you have not described a business for Thompson Reuters. Where do the profits come from? "Buzz" is not profits


Selling Social Science Citation Index and other citation measures to libraries, I think.

For what it's worth, they own the highly profitable West Publishing Company, which is the dominant player in reporting case law decisions and giving editorial analysis of same for the legal "community." Thompson was a large publishing and internet company prior to acquiring Reuters.


Thanks for posting these very interesting links on Kirzner's work. It has made for some fun reading.

However, I wonder if you overstate the case a little when you say that mainstream econ doesn't have an account of how market equilibrium is attained without Kirzner.

Aren't there plenty of oligopoly models in IO where we depart from standard price taker assumptions (the simplest of which are static Cournot and Betrand oligopoly models)? Couldn't one argue that these models give an idea for how equilibrium is attained, but that for large markets with many participants it is just simply easier to ignore these complications and use perfect competition?

Thanks and I look forward to your feedback.

Thomson-Reuters sells information processing solutions to other high tech powerhouses. On the scholar market they sell their ScholarOne Manuscripts backoffice to publishers, which is a sort of replacement for Aries System's Editorial Manager. Their strategy is to have a full ecosystem, from their ResearcherID, to EndNotes, to impact factors, to their publisher suite, etc. I think the Nobel in Economics prediction is just a showcase of what they can do with all this.

no mention of tirole, hmmm

tirole mentioned here though

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