Este ano o prêmio foi para economistas não-keynesianos, fortemente associados à tradição Minnesota-Chicago (daí fresh-water, em contraposição às escolas salt-water neo-keynesianas das costas leste e oeste dos EUA). Tyler Cowen produziu dois ricos posts (vale a pena lê-los na íntegra, inclusive os links) para explicar a contribuição de Sargent e Sims.
Sobre o Sargent, Cowen escreve:
"Sargent has made major contributions to macroeconomics, the theory of expectations, fiscal policy, economic history, and dynamic learning, among other areas. He is a very worthy Laureate and an extraordinarily deep and productive scholar."
"One of his most important (and depressing) papers is Sargent, Thomas J. and Neil Wallace (1981). “Some Unpleasant Monetarist Arithmetic“. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Quarterly Review 5 (3): 1–17. The main idea of this paper is that good monetary policy requires good fiscal policy. Otherwise the fight against inflation will not be credible. This is probably his most important paper."
"Sargent really is one of the smartest, deepest, and most scholarly of all contemporary economists. The word “impressive” resonates. He has enough contributions for 1.6 Nobel Prizes, maybe more. He has influenced the thought of all good macroeconomists. The economic history is dedicated and path breaking. If I had to come up with a criticism, I find that some of his papers have an excess of rigor and don’t leave the reader with a clear intuitive result. I am not as enamored of foundations as he is. Still, that is being picky and this is a very very good choice for the prize. I would have considered a co-award with Neil Wallace, however, since two of Sargent’s most important papers (JPE 1975) and “unpleasant monetarist arithmetic” were written with Wallace."
Finalmente, sobre Sims:
"Sims is currently at Princeton but most closely associated with the University of Minnesota. Basically this is a prize in praise of Minnesota macro, fresh water macro of course, and lots of econometrics. Think of Sims as an economist who found the traditional Keynesian methods “just not good enough” and who worked hard to improve them. He brought a lot more rigor into empirical macro and he helped define a school of thought at the University of Minnesota. His influence will endure. Some of his results raised the status of the “real shocks” approach to business cycles, although I think of Sims’s work as more defined by a method than by any set of conclusions."
"I think of Sims as having three major contributions: vector autoregression as a macroeconomic method, impulse response functions, and deep examinations of money-income causality. Via Tim Harford, here are powerpoint slides on the first two, first rate presentation. If you know some math, this is the place to go on Sims."
"Sims is one of the most important figures in macro econometrics in the last thirty years, if not the most important. He clearly deserves a Nobel Prize."