Saturday, 15 December, 2018

William Nordhaus, Paul Romer get Nobel Prize in Economics

Nobel Economics Prize Could Go To Climate Or Development Study Experts Americans William D Nordhaus and Paul M Romer win 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics
Orlando Vargas | 11 October, 2018, 12:35

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the winners had addressed "some of our time's most... pressing questions" on sustainable growth.

"Many people think that dealing with protecting the environment will be so costly and so hard that they just want to ignore the problem", Romer said by telephone to the Swedish academy.

Nordhaus has been a prominent advocate of the use of a uniformly applied carbon tax as the best way to put a true cost on the use of burning fossil fuels and so reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Shortly after the release of this urgent news, the award of the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences to the American economists William Nordhaus and Paul Romer was announced.

"I hope the prize today could help everyone see that humans are capable of awesome accomplishments when we set about trying to do something", Romer said during a news conference with the Swedish Academy.

Alongside the winners William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, there have been forty nine Nobel prizes for economics and they have been awarded to a total of seventy five laureates.

Although the Prize in Economic Sciences is not a Nobel Prize, it is awarded according to the same principles followed when handing out the other Nobel Prizes.

"It's an ingenious pairing", said David Warsh, author of a 2007 book on Romer's research, "Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations".

More recently, Romer was appointed the Chief Economist of the World Bank in 2016 but resigned after 15 months due to controversy after an annual "Doing Business" report ranked Chile significantly lower while under a socialist president.

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Per Stromberg, head of the Nobel economics prize committee, said "it's about the long-run future of the world economy".

One of Romer's insights was that ideas differ from other goods or services.

Monday's prize awards "innovation, climate and economic growth", Goran Hansson, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said in announcing the honor. Also among the 2018 laureates were Donna Strickland, who received her doctorate in optics from Rochester in 1989 and is now a professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, and Gérard Mourou, a former engineering professor and scientist at Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics and currently a professor at the École Polytechnique in France.

Nordhaus, the freshly minted Nobel victor, was also looking beyond the current political leadership in Washington, D.C. He said that outside the United States there is wide acceptance of the science and economics of climate change.

James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine 2018 for a discovering a way to harness the inbuilt immune system to combat cancer cells.

Romer took a break from teaching in 2001 to start Aplia, the educational technology company now used by NYU and other universities to interactively teach subjects like economics. "Graduate work in economics (first at MIT, then Queens University, and the University of Chicago) was a compromise that brought me back toward the policy concerns I had been exposed to as a youth but still left plenty of room for abstract theorizing of the type that attracted me to physics".

Last year's win by American Richard Thaler was unusually accessible to the layman - his work studied the human irrationality that can mess with economic theory.

"Previous macroeconomic research had emphasised technological innovation as the primary driver of economic growth, but had not modelled how economic decisions and market conditions determine the creation of new technologies", the committee said.

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