The Nobel Prize again infects all of Economics as Economists drop their work, in favor of estimating who will pick up the Prize this year. I may be simply too American for the Commission for saying this, but I think the Process should be run like the Film Academy awards. The Commission should announce five Contenders for each of the Awards granted every year. Why do this? The Prize is important and large, though no one expects any of the Awards will actually be devoted to Research (it’s original purpose as set by Nobel himself), or will it place any Winner on the same level as Bill Gates.
The Prize, as actually used, remains a supplement Payment for years of effort for the relatively small Return of royalties from sold books, it to be replacement of lost Wages from the extensive effort. I would propose five Contenders be announced each Year, and the level of Award be altered to the equivalent of $1 million to the Winner, and $100,000 to each of the four losers for the Year. The losers would be allowed to be reentered among future Contenders for a following Prize.
All of the Contenders, Winner and Losers, would enjoy the acclaim of their nomination. The Losers would lose no ground in their future pursuit of the Prize, and the Winner could say, "Been there, Done that!" All would gain respect among their Peers, and a might bit of Envy; each getting some payback for lost Wages in publication. Leave it to Me to rationalize something I can never possess. lgl