Other than winning the Nobel Prize, getting the John Bates Clark medal is the best thing that can happen to an economist. Without question, winning the Clark medal in 2003 totally changed my life. It was because of the Clark medal that Dubner came out to interview me, and eventually Freakonomics was born.
The Clark medal used to be awarded every other year. Recently, the decision was made to give it out every year. This year’s prize is announced later this week.
On his site Economic Principals, David Warsh has put together
his list of the “No Cigar” medal winners, i.e. the economists who would have won the Clark medal if it had been given out annually instead of bi-annually as in the past.
I was happy to see my friend and colleague John List (rightfully) topping the No-Cigar list. If John were a year younger, or the prize had gone annual a year earlier, there is no doubt he would have won a Clark Medal.
If you take the union of Nobel Prize winners, Clark medal winners, and No-Cigar winners, you cover more than half of the tenured faculty in the University of Chicago economics department. No other department even comes close to that.