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A Nobel Bet

Summary:
Substacker Nathan Brooks thinks he has a shot at the Nobel prize.  In particular, he says that he can explain some puzzles about the U.S. labor market by appealing to employers’ demand for higher employee effort. I’m not convinced.  I don’t know whether he’s right or wrong.  But even if he were clearly correct, this doesn’t look close to a Nobel-prize-winning insight to me.  And even if it were, Brooks is not an economics professor, so the Nobel committee is highly unlikely to consider him regardless of the merits of his ideas.  Odds that he’s right multiplied by odds that his insight is Nobel worthy multiplied by the odds that the first non-professor wins look vanishingly small to me. Upshot: I have bet Brooks at 5:1 odds that he will not win the Nobel Prize in

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Substacker Nathan Brooks thinks he has a shot at the Nobel prize.  In particular, he says that he can explain some puzzles about the U.S. labor market by appealing to employers’ demand for higher employee effort.

I’m not convinced.  I don’t know whether he’s right or wrong.  But even if he were clearly correct, this doesn’t look close to a Nobel-prize-winning insight to me.  And even if it were, Brooks is not an economics professor, so the Nobel committee is highly unlikely to consider him regardless of the merits of his ideas.  Odds that he’s right multiplied by odds that his insight is Nobel worthy multiplied by the odds that the first non-professor wins look vanishingly small to me.

Upshot: I have bet Brooks at 5:1 odds that he will not win the Nobel Prize in 2031 or earlier.  He has pre-paid $100.  If he wins, I will pay him $100 plus 5% per year interest, plus another $500.

Bryan Caplan
Bryan Caplan is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center. He has published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Law and Economics, and Intelligence, and has appeared on 20/20, FoxNews, and C-SPAN. Bryan Caplan blogs on EconLog.

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