Reviewed by Sep 30, 2020| Updated on
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences - Economic Sciences Prize Committee reviews the nominations and chooses the final Nobel Memorial Prize candidates in Economic Sciences. The prize committee is composed of five members, selected from among the academy members.
The academy receives around 200-300 nominations each year, usually representing a little over a hundred nominees. Unwanted recommendations from people who have not been asked to submit applications are not considered.
The academy's Economics Prize Selection Committee (with five to eight members) commissions expert studies of the most popular applicants, sometimes by Swedish experts but typically by foreign nationals.
The Prize Committee presents the award request in the form of a report to the Academy's Social Science Class (Class IX), with a comprehensive survey of the main candidates who are eligible for a Prize. The study motivates the plan and contains all the expert studies requested.
Based on this content, a laureate, a joint prize between two or, at most, three winners, is proposed by the class periodically following the proposal of the committee. Finally, the whole academy gathers, usually in October, to take the final award decision.
Awards are given for a particular contribution, such as new analytical methods in finance and econometrics, two or more specific contributions, such as the Friedman and Modigliani Prizes, and lifetime contributions, such as the Samuelson, Kuznetz and Allais Prize. Lifetime contributions have dominated, although the definition is unclear because lifetime contributions can consist of specific themes, such as in Leontief's case).
In deciding what should be deemed a "good" contribution, it is probably correct to say that, in particular, the selection committee looked at the originality of the proposal, its theoretical and practical value, and its effect on scientific research.
It has been regarded as an essential contribution to provide the shoulders on which other scholars may stand, and thus climb higher. The committee also looks into the degree of impact on society as a whole, including implications on public policy.