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Jagdish Bhagwati in race for Economics Nobel

October 09, 2006 10:47 IST
The theories of how countries maintain global trade, why natural rates of unemployment are driven by economic necessity and even "Ricardian equivalence," which dictates that governments cannot increase demand by deficit spending are the complex topics that may be honoured with the Nobel economic prize.

Like the traditional Nobel science prizes - medicine, physics and chemistry - there is no precise formula for predicting the decision by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Perennial contender Jagdish Bhagwati, a noted proponent of free trade and critic of opponents of globalization, is listed by Thomson Scientific as a likely winner. The India-born Columbia University economics professor was an external adviser to the World Trade Organisation

and served as a special policy adviser on globalisation to the United Nations.

Other likely winners include Paul Romer of Stanford University, who won the 2002 Horst Claus Recktenwald Prize in Economics. He's been touted for his efforts in developing the New Growth Theory, which has provided new foundations for businesses and governments trying to create wealth.

The theory was developed in the 1980s as a response to criticism of the neoclassical growth model. Thomas J Sargent of New York University, a leader of the rational expectations theory, which is used to determine future events by economic acts, is also mentioned.

The economics prize, worth $ 1.4 million, is the only one of the Nobel awards not established in the will made by Nobel 111 years ago.

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