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Article in the Daily

Nobel Committee Impressed by Arshakuni's Research

Economists applaud brilliant thesis by Russian economist

It is a well-known fact that the Nobel Prize in Economics is awarded to established economists in their 60-ies or 70-ies, usually for the contribution made 30-40 years ago. Just a year ago it seemed that nothing and nobody can buck this trend. Can this all suddenly change?
In an incredible twist, there is a tangible possibility that a young russian economist, Konstantin Arshakuni, 27, is going to turn things upside down. Clearly, a bad news for Andrei Shleifer, Eugene Fama, Oleg Eismont, and Paul Krugman whose chances to win the prize this year suffered a severe blow. There seems to be a universal agreement amongst academic economists and policy-makers alike that Konstantin Arshakuni's thesis is going to revolutionize the field of economics. In terms of its importance, his work is placed on par with Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith and The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Keynes.
In Moscow, Konstantin has already defended the russian version of the thesis. The defence was a staggering success, as claimed by the famous professor Mark Levin who attended Arshakuni's presentation in Moscow. Other russian economists have also welcomed the news of their colleague's success. Victor Polterovich, considered by many to be the best mathematical economist, could not hide his delight: I remember Konstantin very well I used to teach him Macro 3. His thesis is undoubtedly great, though it could be a bit more theoretical. The only criticism I have is about the footnote on page 6, approximately less than 50 what does this mean? If it is less than, say, 48 why not saying less than 48 instead of saying approximately less than 50. Apart from that, I can see only strong points in his thesis which I am not going to mention since there are too many of them.
Another outstanding economist, Natasha Volchkova, said :"Frankly, it is not my area so I cannot evaluate the contribution, but since Victor Meerovich thinks that Kostya's dissertation is of extraordinary quality, I can only agree and say that we, promising young russian researchers (myself included), are happy to welcome a new member. The only russian economist who was not happy to hear the news of Arshakuni's success was Konstantin Sonin, but who cares...
If one has any doubts that Konstantin is fully devoted to economics, then check his answers to our simple questions that we asked during the interview. When asked about how he spends his spare time, he replied: I like to go to parties, presentations, conferences, especially if there is free food. This doesn't sound unusual and we fully agree with such approach, but his next sentence really puzzled us: ..because free means zero price, and it is widely known that zero price is a bifurcation point for a representative economic agent. As one anecdote goes daddy, whom were you talking with? Then we asked where Konstantin eats when there is no free food available. In Arabic cafes, because they participate in Bertrand competition. Afraid to look ignorant, we didn't ask for clarifications and just nodded in agreement (later on, we asked several owners of Arabic cafes who Bertrand was and what kind of competition he organizes the owners seemed just as puzzled as we were).
However serious he may seem, Konstantin has an incredible sense of humour. When asked about his ideal job, he replied: Any job is good for me as long as it provides high, low-volatile income to satisfy my consumer's ambitions. There is one exception: however big the salary is, I don't want to be a camel puller. Not knowing what this profession is, we asked to explain what a camel puller actually does. Konstantin's reply was: Grip, Pull, Grip, Pull...... and then LIQUID EXPLOSION. We thanked Konstantin for the interview and wished him all the best in his research. Much obliged, was the answer.


© 2006.

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