Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Forecasting the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (aka the Nobel Prize in Economics) will be announced on Monday, October 11, 2010. Of the 63 men and 1 woman who have won the award outright or shared in it since the prize began in 1969, 44 have been Americans. The leading university homes of the winners include the University of Chicago (10), followed by the University of California-Berkeley (5), Columbia (4), Harvard (4), and Cambridge University, England (4).

Now, let's see how well you can forecast. Who will be awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics? Your educated guess must be posted as a comment to this post before the Nobel Prize announcement is made. In the event that more than one person submits identical guesses, the earlier timestamp of the comment will determine the winner. The bonus points will be added to the winner's next exam score following the Nobel announcement on October 11.

Congratulations to Peter Diamond (MIT), Dale Mortensen (Northwestern), and Christopher Pissarides (London School of Economics) as the winners of this year's Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for their work on search frictions in economic markets.

Unfortunately, nobody correctly forecasted this year's winners.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Highest Grossing Film Of All Time?

Appearing in 2009, James Cameron's Avatar has generated $2,768,529,651&0000002768529651000000 in world-wide gross revenues (according to this link). It is not, however, the highest grossing film of all time when you take into account inflation.

Using the most recent figures for the CPI, calculate the inflation-adjusted gross earnings using the figures supplied by the link above in order to determine the highest grossing film of all time as expressed in August 2010 dollars. Show all of your calculations.

Congratulations to Yuan Tao, our first two-time winner this semester. See his calculations on the top grossing film of all time, Gone With The Wind, in the comments section. Bottom line: $6,285,131,159!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Name That Economist

She's been an Engineer (MIT), a Tiger (Princeton), and a Bear (Cal-Berkeley). Primarily a macroeconomist, her research focuses on the determinants of business cycles and the impact of fiscal and monetary policies.

Congratulations to Keyuan Gu for being the first to identify Christina Romer as the mystery economist. Dr. Romer, the outgoing Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, is well known for her early research on the volatility of the economy before and after WWII. Her later research examined the impact of government spending and tax policies on the macroeconomy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Food Scarcity

The Worldwatch Institute regularly predicts an increased scarcity of grain worldwide in the coming years and warns that the world is about to run out of food. How could you use the commodity futures page in the newspaper to evaluate this prediction? If professional speculators disagree with the forecasts of the Worldwatch Institute, in who forecasts would you have more confidence? Why?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Name That Economist

Do you know who I am? I am a bestselling author of advanced microeconomics textbooks and a former Golden Bear academic official. I now work as the top economist for a private sector company on the West Coast.

Congratulations to Yuan Tao for being the first to correctly identify Hal Varian as the mystery economist. Varian is a microeconomist who specializes in the economics of information. He is the former Dean of the UC-Berkeley's School of Information and now serves as the Chief Economist for Google.