On Monday, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences made one of UCSB’s newest hires its newest Nobel laureate.
The work of economics professors Finn Kydland and Edward Prescott of Arizona State University is important enough that roughly 25 years later it is regarded as fundamental within its field. Their research, groundbreaking for its use of mathematical models, showed that once governments set polices, they should not change them because of temporary problems. Kydland and Prescott also argued that dramatic events, technological innovation and suppliers influence economies more than consumer demand.
For his work and his success, we congratulate Kydland, as we would even if he was not affiliated with UCSB. The Nobel Prizes are a pleasure because the beginning of October is one of the few times each year when the public pauses from its fascination with death and sensational trials to celebrate smart people doing good things.
We would also like to congratulate economics professor Henning Bohn. If there were a Nobel Prize for hiring, he would certainly win it for hiring Kydland three and a half months before he won the Nobel Prize.
Can Kydland renegotiate his contract? Will he get to pick his own office when he starts teaching here in January? Will grad students be required to bear him about on a litter? Does he have an agent?
Kydland’s prize, along with that of physics professor David Gross, has reminded the world that UCSB is a premier research institution as well as the place where the pretty people party. It’s amusing that this still surprises those who think people who have fun cannot also perform outside of parties – a notion that would have made Einstein celibate. Here at UCSB, we can do both. As the chancellor likes to say, we are excellent and diverse.