The Nobel That Wasn't

October 10, 2016

The website of New York University's business school last week accidentally posted an announcement of a press conference with Paul Romer (right) on his winning the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, Bloomberg reported. One problem is that the Nobel hadn't been announced. (That happened this morning and Romer didn't win.) Romer is regularly listed among possible honorees, but NYU made clear after the release went public that it had no inside information; rather, it was just trying to be ready in case he did win.

On his blog, Romer wrote about the advance preparations from public relations people that accompany being considered a Nobel possibility. "For more that 20 years, October has been the time when the eager beavers in the university PR department get a little too excited as they drill in preparation for the possibility that I might receive a Nobel prize," he wrote. "I used to try to explain how low the odds are, but found that this was like talking to someone who has just been given a ticket for the upcoming $100 million lottery. All they can think about is how they’ll spend the money. Then I tried telling them that I’ve been through this many times and nothing happens. This does not work, either. Somehow, they convince themselves that 'this time is different.' Now I just try to be a good sport and let them have their fun."


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