My Nominee for the Next Nobel Prize in Economics
by Michael H. Schuman
This past November one of three Sveriges Riksbank Prizes in Economic Sciences went the Professor Robert Shiller of Yale. After years of giving its award to various University of Chicago Neanderthals, the Nobel Prize Committee finally made an inspired choice, picking a scholar whose work has shown that the returns from mainstream stock markets have historically been significantly lower than what the hype-sters on Wall Street claim. As the Committee now begins deliberation for the 2014 award, I would like to bring to their attention the woman I consider one of the most innovative economists of our age – Janelle Orsi.
Janelle is the co-founder and executive director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) in Oakland, California, and has pioneered a new legal field called sharing law. It’s all about the grey zones in law: childcare cooperative cooperatives, car-sharing programs, barter networks, community owned stores, local currencies, microenterprises, tool-lending libraries. A recent grassroots effort to create a list of the world’s 100 most influential thinkers on sustainable economics (www.enrichlist.org), placed Janelle among names including E.F. Schumacher, Herman Daly, and Donella Meadows.. Most impressively, among those on the list, she was one of the few under 40 years of age.