Hvorfor fik Keynes ikke Nobelprisen i 1920’erne?

Det er spørgsmålet som min medforfatter på lockdown-studiet , Lars Jonung, stiller i dette nye paper udgivet i The Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Her er abstract:

John Maynard Keynes became famous with The Economic Consequences of the Peace published in 1919, a harsh critique of the Versailles peace treaty. As a consequence, Keynes was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922, 1923, and 1924, and evaluated in advisory reports for the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian parliament. This paper summarizes these appreciative reports. The appraiser even informed Keynes that he was “one of the foremost candidates proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize”. Still, the Prize was not awarded to him. This paper ends with a speculative answer to why the Prize was not given to Keynes.

Lidt udpluk for de interesserede men TL;DR‘s.

It is clear from the list of laureates after the Great War that Keynes did not fit into the general pattern of laureates. He was not a political actor who promoted the League of Nations, nor was he active as an official working for international cooperation and peace. He did not even hold an official position. He was an independent voice outside the establishment trying to foster peace using economic analysis. […]

Keynes was a controversial choice for many reasons. He emerged as a voice not just outside of the establishment, but critical of it, with the publication of The Economic Consequences of the Peace. There, he clearly showed how an international agreement such as the Treaty of Versailles could turn into a threat to a peaceful world. […]

To give the Prize to Keynes in 1923 or 1924 might be viewed as a criticism of Wilson, and thus of his Prize, and indirectly of the establishment of the League of Nations, an outcome of the Treaty of Versailles.

Og mere politik:

Another reason might be the political views held by members of the Nobel Prize Committee. A rift could be sufficient for the Prize not being awarded (see Abrams, 2001, p. 23). As the Committee consisted of politicians from the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, and the Labour Party – the latter party was openly revolutionary in its outlook in the 1920s – it is easy to imagine that political differences could give rise to a deadlock in the Committee.

Der er mere i Jonung (2022). Når man ser på, hvem der har fået fredsprisen de sidste 20 år (fx Al Gore og Barack Obama, for at tage nogle af de mest absurde tilfælde), kan man godt undres lidt over, at manden, der argumenterede for, at Versailles-freden ville danne grundlaget for 2. Verdenskrig, ikke fik den.

Men sådan er politik desværre nogle gange.

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