One of the more innovative of the George Masonites is Robin Hanson, who runs the philosophy of science-oriented blog, overcoming bias. He is a big fan of the accuracy of prediction markets. But the various betting markets on the Sveriges Riksbank Prize for Economics in Memory of Alfred Nobel, such as intrade.com, were just way off. The top bets as of yesterday were in order, Fama, Barro, Tullokck, Helpmann, Grossman, Dixit, and Tirole. None of the actual winners: Hurwicz, Maskin, or Myerson, was even in the betting pool. Oooops!
I think what we see here is the hand of the Committee Chair, Juergen Weibull, a game theorist. I had heard scuttlebutt that Myerson and Maskin would be the winners of "the next Nobel in game theory," but figured that was a ways off because of that being it two years ago. So, Weibull figured out to give it to game theory for an application, in this case, mechanism design. A question arises if this is his last gasp before stepping off the committee, or if he is a new Assar Lindbeck, a dominating figure who will be around for years. In any case, for those who are not aware of it, Hurwicz's approach to mechanism design looks an awful lot like a an effort to figure out how to do central planning right.