KARACHI: The most sought after accolade in economics – the Nobel Prize – will be announced tomorrow and has kept all those interested in the field on the edge.

Last year, the committee picked a rather unconventional branch to award the prize which went to Richard Thaler of The Chicago Booth School of Business for his contributions in Behavioural Economics. The experts are now split as to who will get the prestigious award this time.

“My guess is Esther Duflo for pushing randomised control trials in Development Economics,” said Markus Brunnermeier of Princeton University. Duflo is perhaps best known for his contribution in co-founding the Abdul Lateef Jamil Poverty Action Lab – known as J-PAL – at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she is also a Professor.

“Doug Diamond might also have a good chance of winning [the prize] for [his work on] modeling bank runs,” Brunnermeier added. Douglas Diamond is a distinguished Professor of Finance at Booth School and specialises in the study of financial intermediaries, financial crises, and liquidity.

Nicola Gennaioli, who teaches finance at Bocconi University, picked his favourites for this year. “Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart for documenting debt crises in emerging and developed economies; William Nordhaus and Martin Weitzman for economic analysis of climate change; and Paul Romer and Robert Barro for theory and empirics of economic growth,” he told Dawn, in an email.

Richard Tol of Sussex University said, “I’m rooting for Anne Krueger. Her work on rent-seeking and corruption feels somehow relevant this year.” But the professor then added, agreeing with Gennaioli, that “Nordhaus and Weitzman may well win this year.”

Meanwhile, Francesco Trebbi, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia, who tweeted his two cents on the matter said “my prediction this year is Philippe Aghion, Peter Howitt and Paul Romer for endogenous growth theory”. Their work focuses on understanding the contradictory effects of technological change on the economy, delving into the details of the process to analyze how, laws, institutions, customs, and regulations affect peoples’ motivations and their ability to create new knowledge and profit from it.

All the professors Dawn spoke to clarified that the prize is quite unpredictable and their picks are only educated guesses.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2018