Wed September 4, 2013
Planet Money

The Nobel Laureate Who Figured Out How To Deal With Annoying People

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:22 pm

"I've been wrong so often I don't find it extraordinary at all," Ronald Coase told us last year.
University of Chicago

Update, Sept. 4: We added the audio for David Kestenbaum's radio obituary of Ronald Coase.

If you created the world as a simple economic thought experiment, companies wouldn't exist. Instead, everybody would work for themselves, and they'd be constantly selling their labor (or the fruits of their labor, or use of their tools, or whatever) to the highest bidder. Wages would rise and fall every day (every hour! every second!) depending on supply and demand. That's how the market works, after all.

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Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Highest Bidder Will Get DNA Pioneer's Nobel Medal

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 4:43 pm

Francis Crick in 2003, the year before his death, at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego.
Denis Poroy AP

This is no ordinary family heirloom.

The granddaughter of English scientist Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA who passed away in 2004, is putting his Nobel Prize medal up on the auction block.

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Mon December 10, 2012
The Two-Way

After Helping Europe Rise From Ashes, EU Accepts Nobel Peace Prize

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso of Portugal during today's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo.
Nigel Waldron Getty Images

Giving the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union has been controversial.

As The Associated Press reports:

Three previous Peace Prize laureates "South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland and Adolfo Perez Esquivel from Argentina, have demanded that the prize money of $1.2 million not be paid this year. They say the bloc contradicts the values associated with the prize because it relies on military force to ensure security."

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Mon October 15, 2012
Planet Money

Nobel Goes To Economists Who Actually Solved Problems In The Real World

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 12:34 pm

For economists, prices are like magic. They send all kinds of signals about who wants what, and how badly they want it. Prices are what make markets work so well in so many settings.

But there are some things we don't want to put prices on. We don't pay organ donors. Children attend public high schools for free. Medical residents get paid a fixed stipend no matter where they do their hospital training.

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Mon October 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Americans Roth, Shapely Win Nobel Prize For Economics

Lloyd S. Shapley.
Nobel Prize

Two Americans took the Nobel prize for economics this morning.

Alvin E. Roth, of Harvard University, and Lloyd S. Shapley, of University of California, Los Angeles, were given the award "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design."

If that doesn't mean anything to you, the Nobel committee explained that their work essentially explained an important economic problem: How can different economic actors find each other.

They explain:

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