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


  • Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich


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).

Suggested Citation

  • Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich, 2011. "The Full Value of the Nobel Prize - Part 1: Mining “Data Without Theory”," MPRA Paper 33483, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33483

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romer, Paul, 1993. "Idea gaps and object gaps in economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 543-573, December.
    2. Voxi Heinrich S Amavilah & Richard T. Newcomb, 2004. "Economic Growth and the Financial Economics of Capital Accumulation under Shifting Technological Change," GE, Growth, Math methods 0404001, EconWPA.
    3. William D. Nordhaus, 2014. "The Perils of the Learning Model for Modeling Endogenous Technological Change," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    4. Voxi Heinrich Amavilah, 2005. "Resource Intra-Actions And Inter-Actions: Implications For Technological Change And Economic Growth," GE, Growth, Math methods 0508004, EconWPA.
    5. Robert Hofmeister, 2011. "Measuring the Value of Research: A Generational Accounting Approach," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-07, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
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    More about this item


    Nobel Prize full value; Nobel Prize and human development; nobel prize and human capital; Nobel Prize and technological change; Nobel Prize and economic performance;

    JEL classification:

    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Y10 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Data: Tables and Charts - - - Data: Tables and Charts
    • Y1 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Data: Tables and Charts
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General

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