Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Economists Who Changed Thinking on Climate Change Win Nobel Prize

Economists Who Changed Thinking on Climate Change Win Nobel Prize

A professor at New York University has been awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Nordhaus says bringing countries together to solve the climate change problem is the "last frontier" for the issue, arguing that the science has been settled. Carbon dioxide, which is emitted when fossil fuels are burned, is a heat-trapping "greenhouse gas" blamed for global warming, and a tax would make polluters pay for the costs imposed on society.

Romer is a former World Bank chief economist now at New York University's Stern School of Business. He began working on the interactions between energy and the economy in the 1970s and since the 1990s has produced models that have helped economist quantify the impact that climate change will have on the economy.

Romer, now an economics professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, was recognized by the Nobel committee for laying the groundwork for endogenous growth theory, which stresses that well-designed policies and regulations can significantly encourage innovation and economic growth.

He and William Nordhaus, a professor of economics at Yale University, will share the 2018 prize, which was announced this morning by the Royal Swedish Academy of Science.

The academy said that the contributions of this year's laureates "are methodological, providing us with fundamental insights into the causes and consequences of technological innovation and climate change". "Humans are capable of fantastic accomplishments if we set our minds to it".

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Yale University's William Nordhaus was awarded the prize for his work in long-term macroeconomic analysis related to climate change.

The research of Nordhaus and Romer is united by an interest in what drives economic growth and how to respond when unregulated market forces fail to deliver desired results. His integrated assessment model of climate change is now widely used "to simulate how the economy and the climate co-evolve". "The theory has generated vast amounts of new research into the regulations and policies that encourage new ideas and long-term prosperity".

Last year's prize went to one of the founders of behavioral economics and finance, Richard H. Thaler of Chicago University, for his work studying human bias at a time when other economists still viewed people as rational actors.

The economists Paul Romer and William Nordhaus have been awarded 2018's Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, often considered to be the most prestigious prize in the field of economics.

The peace prize was awarded Friday to Denis Mukwege of Congo and Iraqi Nadia Murad for their work to draw attention to how sexual violence is used as a weapon of war.

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