The Nobel prize in economics isn’t really a Nobel prize. There are five of those – in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. These “true Nobels” have been awarded since 1895, the year before the death of Alfred Nobel – the Swedish industrialist who made his fortune, famously, by inventing and selling dynamite.
It was only in 1969 that the Swedish Central Bank began dishing out a medal each year for research in economics, awarded in Nobel’s name. It remains separate from the main prizes established in his will – and so it should. That’s because Nobel was a scientist – and economics, categorically, is no science.
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