Other Events, deaths, births, of OCT 11
On an October 11:
2001 The Nobel Prize in Literature to V. S. Naipaul.
      The Swedish Academy announces that the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2001 will be awarded awarded to the British writer, born in Trinidad, V.S. Naipaul “for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories”. — .
      V.S. Naipaul is a literary circumnavigator, only ever really at home in himself, in his inimitable voice. Singularly unaffected by literary fashion and models he has wrought existing genres into a style of his own, in which the customary distinctions between fiction and non-fiction are of subordinate importance.
      Naipaul’s literary domain has extended far beyond the West Indian island of Trinidad, his first subject, and now encompasses India, Africa, America from south to north, the Islamic countries of Asia and, not least, England. Naipaul is Conrad’s heir as the annalist of the destinies of empires in the moral sense: what they do to human beings. His authority as a narrator is grounded in his memory of what others have forgotten, the history of the vanquished.
      The farcical yarns in his first work, The Mystic Masseur, and the short stories in Miguel Street with their blend of Chekhov and calypso established Naipaul as a humorist and a portrayer of street life.
      He took a giant stride with A House for Mr. Biswas, one of those singular novels that seem to constitute their own complete universes, in this case a miniature India on the periphery of the British Empire, the scene of his father’s circumscribed existence. In allowing peripheral figures their place in the momentousness of great literature, Naipaul reverses normal perspectives and denies readers at the centre their protective detachment. This principle was made to serve in a series of novels in which, despite the increasingly documentary tone, the characters did not therefore become less colorful.
      Fictional narratives, autobiography and documentaries have merged in Naipaul’s writing without it always being possible to say which element dominates.
      In his masterpiece The Enigma of Arrival Naipaul visits the reality of England like an anthropologist studying some hitherto unexplored native tribe deep in the jungle. With apparently short-sighted and random observations he creates an unrelenting image of the placid collapse of the old colonial ruling culture and the demise of European neighborhoods. Naipaul has drawn attention to the novel’s lack of universality as a form, that it presupposes an inviolate human world of the kind that has been shattered for conquered peoples.
      He began to experience the inadequacy of fiction while he was working on The Loss of El Dorado, in which after extensive study of the archives he described the appalling colonial history of Trinidad. He found that he had to cling to the authenticity of the details and the voices and abstain from mere fictionalisation while at the same time continuing to render his material in the form of literature.
      His travel books allow witnesses to testify at every turn, not least in his powerful description of the eastern regions of the Islamic world, Beyond Belief. The author’s empathy finds expression in the acuity of his ear.
      Naipaul is a modern philosophe, carrying on the tradition that started originally with Lettres persanes and Candide. In a vigilant style, which has been deservedly admired, he transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony. //—
2000 The Nobel Prize in Economics is awarded to James J. Heckman, University of Chicago, and Daniel L. McFadden, University of California.
     The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, 2000 goes to them because each has developed theory and methods that are widely used in the statistical analysis of individual and household behavior, within economics as well as other social sciences, "to James Heckman for his development of theory and methods for analyzing selective samples and to Daniel McFadden for his development of theory and methods for analyzing discrete choice. “
— Los estadounidenses James J. Heckman y Daniel L. McFadden ganan el premio Nobel de Economía por sus estudios sobre microeconomía y estadística, basados en el comportamiento individual y familiar de las personas.
Microeconometrics -- on the boundary between economics and statistics -- is a methodology for studying micro data, i.e., economic information about large groups of individuals, households, or firms. Greater availability of micro data and increasingly powerful computers have enabled empirical studies of many new issues. For example, what determines whether an individual decides to work and, if so, how many hours? How do economic incentives affect choices of education, occupation, and place of residence? What are the effects of different educational programs on income and employment? James Heckman and Daniel McFadden have resolved fundamental problems that arise in the statistical analysis of micro data. The methods they have developed have solid foundations in economic theory, but have evolved in close interplay with applied research on important social problems. They are now standard tools, not only among economists but also among other social scientists.
      Available micro data often entail selective samples. Data on wages, for instance, cannot be sampled randomly if only individuals with certain characteristics -- unobservable to the researcher -- choose to work or engage in education. If such selection is not taken into account, statistical estimation of economic relationships yields biased results. Heckman has developed statistical methods of handling selective samples in an appropriate way. He has also proposed tools for solving closely related problems with individual differences unobserved by the researcher; such problems are common, e.g. when evaluating social programs or estimating how the duration of unemployment affects chances of getting a job. Heckman is also a leader of applied research in these areas.
     Micro data often reflect discrete choice. For instance, data regarding individuals' occupation or place of residence reflect choices they have made among a limited number of alternatives. Prior to McFadden's contributions, empirical studies of such choices lacked a foundation in economic theory. Evolving from a new theory of discrete choice, the statistical methods developed by McFadden have transformed empirical research. His methods are readily applicable. For example, they prevail in models of transports and are used to evaluate changes in communication systems. Examples of McFadden's extensive applications of his own methods include the design of the San Francisco BART system, as well as investments in phone service and housing for the elderly.
James J. Heckman, 56, was born in Chicago, IL in 19 April 1944.
Daniel L. McFadden, 63, was born in Raleigh, NC on 29 July 1937.
Useful links/Further reading
1999 El científico alemán, Günter Blobel, fue galardonado con el Premio Nobel de Medicina al descurir que "las proteínas tienen señales intrínsecas que gobiernan su transporte y localización en la célula" .
1996 Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo and Jose Ramos-Horta of East Timor win the Nobel Peace Prize for their pro-democracy efforts in troubled East Timor.
1990 Octavio Paz wins Nobel Prize for literature
1979 Allan McLeod Cormack & Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield win Nobel Prize for medicine for developing the CAT scan
annex to

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