Give the Prize to Galbraith!
1. He has been widely read (“The affluent society” is probably the best example).
2. He has influenced the world of politics (part of Kennedy’s “the best and the brightest”, the book mentioned above was pivotal in “The war on poverty” and "Great Society"-programs).
3. He has introduced quite a few interesting economic theories and concepts (a must if you should get the prize, I guess). Examples include “The New Industrial State” (few industries in US fit model of perfect competition), “Public Purpose” (which for example discusses ‘the subservient role of women in the unrewarded management of ever-greater consumption’) and "A Short History of Financial Euphoria" (about financial bubbles).
4. He has come up with quite a few, good quotes:
"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."
"If you feed enough oats to the horse, some will pass through to feed the sparrows." [In relation to trickle-down economics]
"It is a well known and very important fact that America's founding fathers did not like taxation without representation. It is a lesser known and equally important fact that they did not much like taxation with representation."
"Humility is not always compatible with truth.”
5. He is not another American right-wing economist, but actually Canadian and to the left of center. That might not increase his chances to get the Prize, I guess, but if he will – remember where you read it first!