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The Full Value of the Nobel Prize - Part 1: Mining “Data Without Theory”

Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich (2011): The Full Value of the Nobel Prize - Part 1: Mining “Data Without Theory”.

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Abstract

This paper comes in two parts, this being the first. Part 1 is not a research paper in the sense of the Scientific Method; it is rather unsophisticated data mining - a cheap data mining exercise for that matter, because it does not follow any received economic, or other, theory. In the sense of Ed E. Leamer, it is “data without theory,” and data without theory does not speak for itself, despite the common cliché of “letting the data speak for itself.” The objective here is to adjust the money value of the Nobel Prize to include the values of the Nobel Prize medal and diploma. It is an arithmetic exercise that reveals that Alfred Nobel’s monetary contribution to humanity is huge. More importantly, the calculations generate data that make it possible to focus on the economic implications of Nobel’s bequest for human capital accumulation, technological progress, and long-run economic growth, which are subjects of a separate effort in Part 2. In this “paper” I indicate some basic relationships among and between key variables in Section 4, and remark in the last section that the Nobel Prize is a massive contribution, even without taking into account the time value of money. For instance, the unadjusted value of the Economics Nobel Prize in 1969 awarded to Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen was only 2.92 million SEK (US$0.57 million), but adjusted for the medal and diploma values the award was 5.85 million SEK (US$1.14 million).

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