The 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science was awarded on Monday to the American economists William D. Nordhaus and Paul M. Romer for reshaping the understanding of the long-term determinants of economic growth.
Mr. Nordhaus was cited for his work on the implications of environmental factors, including climate change. Mr. Romer was cited for his work on the importance of technological change.
Mr. Nordhaus, a professor of economics at Yale University, pioneered the economic analysis of climate change. He is also a leading proponent of the use of carbon taxation to reduce emissions, a policy approach preferred by many economists.
The announcement of the award came the same day that a United Nations panel on climate change released a report warning of dire consequences from climate change and urging governments to respond to the problem with greater urgency. The report builds on and cites Mr. Nordhaus’s work.
Both men have long been promoted as possible recipients of the prize, but they were not obvious candidates to be awarded one together. In announcing the decision, members of the prize committee emphasized that both men had highlighted obstacles to long-term growth that required international cooperation.
“The message is that it’s needed for countries to cooperate globally to solve some of these big questions,” said Goran K. Hansson, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which selects the winner of the economics prize.
At a news conference after the announcement, Mr. Romer said he and Mr. Nordhaus also shared a sense of optimism that public policy can be improved.
“One problem today is that people think protecting the environment will be so costly and so hard that they want to ignore the problem and pretend it doesn’t exist,” he said. “Humans are capable of amazing accomplishments if we set our minds to it.”
Who won the 2017 Economics Prize?
Richard H. Thaler was recognized for his pioneering work in establishing that people are predictably irrational — that they consistently behave in ways that defy economic theory. He is credited with persuading many economists to pay more attention to human behavior, and many governments to pay more attention to economics.
What happened to the Nobel literature prize?
The Nobel Prize in Literature has been postponed. The institution that chooses the laureate is embroiled in a scandal involving allegations of sexual misconduct, financial malpractice and repeated leaks — a crisis that led to the departure of several board members and required the intervention of the Swedish king. Two laureates might be named next year. Read about last year’s winner, Kazuo Ishiguro.