Inman\’s the economics correspndent of both The Guardian and The Observer. And he spouts nonsense like this:
Sadly, crude interpretations of Smith have won important friends, especially since the 1960s, when widespread property ownership became a big issue for politicians. The Nobel prize for economics was first awarded in 1969, and since then has rewarded research into how markets work, with the emphasis on the examination of pure markets and the equilibrium they can achieve if only they are left alone by governments and regulators. All market failures are blamed on interventions.
That\’s complete and total bollocks.
Here\’s the list of economics Nobel winners.
Samuelson certainly wasn\’t claiming that all market failures came from interventions. Kantorovich was a Soviet economist for Lord\’s sake, he certainly wasn\’t trying to claim that government interventions screwed up markets (he would have been shot if he had): he was trying to work out how to make government interventions and planning eliminate markets. Myrdal was a Swedish social democrat MP: hardly an outspoken all markets all the time markets sort of peep.
Friedman got his for monetary theory: precisely and exactly about when should governments intervene in order to save markets from themselves? (Yes, really, that is what he got it for. When should the Fed be doing QE III sort of stuff.) Yes, yes, we all know he loved markets and so on but that absolutely isn\’t what he got his Nobel for.
Tobin studied markets, sure: he was also the originator of the Tobin Tax, that intervention into markets which is being touted now as the FTT or the Robin Hood Tax. That\’s hardly blaming market failure on government intervention now, is it? Actually, it\’s blaming market failure on a lack of government intervention.
Coase got his for transaction costs: which is where we derive some of our ideas about where we should use markets from. But also, where we shouldn\’t, where regulation (that damn pesky government intervention again) is more appropriate.
Becker, often though of as one of the most \”rightie\” of all of them, actually used the analysis of markets to analyse things not normally thought of as markets. Like sex and marriage. Sod all to do with intervention or not.
Nash etc, for game theory……and game theory tells us a lot about when government should indeed intervene.
Ostrom: management of the commons, when does there need to be intervention and when doesn\’t there?
Inman\’s just spouting bollocks about the Nobel so why on earth is he employed by two (count them, two!) newspapers to opine on economics?