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The Nobel Prize in Economics
by Hannah Rasmussen
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• Glossary of Economics Terms
• Nobel Prize in Economics Resources
• Official Economics Nobel Prize Site  

What is the Nobel Prize in Economics?

The Nobel Prize in Economics is actually called The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel who died in 1896. In his will Alfred Nobel left most of his money to create The Nobel Prizes. The prizes are awarded each year to the person, or persons, who has made the greatest contribution to their field. The fields Alfred Nobel selected for the prizes were Literature, Peace, Chemistry, Physics and Physiology or Medicine. However, he did not create a Nobel Prize for Economics.

It wasn’t until 1969 that a Nobel Prize in Economics was created by the Bank of Sweden. This prize is considered the most important prize in the field of Economics. The Nobel Prize in Economics rewards "specific discoveries or breakthroughs in the field of Economics". The Prize is awarded by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. This Academy also awards the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Physics. The Nobel prize consists of a medal, a diploma and a monetary prize - this value changes depending on the state of the economy. Lately the prize value has been roughly one million dollars (US).

How do they Choose the Winner?

Each year the Academy asks selected economists for their nominations for the year's prize. Then the Prize committee recommends a selection of these nominations to the Academy, which decides on the winner by a secret vote. The Nobel laureate is announced each October and the presentation is made in Stockholm on December 10th. The nominations are kept a secret – only the winning name is made public.

Who has won the Nobel Prize in Economics?

  • 1969: Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen
    "For having developed and applied dynamic models for the analysis of economic processes."
  • 1970:Paul Samuelson
    "For the scientific work through which he has developed static and dynamic economic theory and actively contributed to raising the level of analysis in economic science."
  • 1971: Simon Kuznets
    "For his empirically founded interpretation of economic growth which has led to new and deepened insight into the economic and social structure and process of development."
  • 1972: John Hicks and Kenneth Arrow
    "For their pioneering contributions to general economic equilibrium theory and welfare theory."
  • 1973: Wassily Leontief
    "For the development of the input-output method and for its application to important economic problems."
  • 1974: Gunnar Myrdal and Friederich von Hayek
    "For their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social, and institutional phenomena."
  • 1975: Leonid Kantovarich and Tjalling Koopmans
    "For their contributions to the theory of the optimum allocation of resources”
  • 1976: Milton Friedman
    "For his achievements in the field of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy."
  • 1977: Bertil Ohlin and James Meade
    "For their pathbreaking contribution to the theory of international trade and international capital movements."
  • 1978: Herbert Simon
    "For his pioneering research into the decision making process within economic organizations."
  • 1979: Theodore Schultz and Arthur Lewis
    "For their pioneering research into economic development, with particular consideration of the problems of developing countries."
  • 1980: Lawrence Klein
    "For the creation of econometric models and their application to the analysis of economic fluctuations and economic policies."
  • 1981: James Tobin
    "For his analysis of financial markets and their relations to expenditure decisions, employment, production and prices."
  • 1982: George Stigler
    "For his seminal studies of industrial structure, functioning of markets and causes and effects of public regulation."
  • 1983: Gerard Debreu
    "For having incorporated new analytic methods into economic theory and for his rigorous reformulation of the theory of general equilibrium."
  • 1984: Richard Stone
    "For having made fundamental contributions to the development of systems of national accounts and hence greatly improved the basis for empirical economic analysis."
  • 1985: Franco Modigliani
    "For his pioneering analysis of savings and financial markets."
  • 1986: James Buchanan
    "For his development of the contractual and constitutional bases of the theory of economic and political decision making."
  • 1987: Robert Solow
    "For his contributions to the theory of economic growth."
  • 1988: Maurice Allais
    "For his pioneering contributions to the theory of markets and efficient utilization of resources."
  • 1989: Trygve Haavelmo
    "For his clarification of the probability theory foundation of econometrics and his analysis of simultaneous economic structures."
  • 1990: Harry Markowitz
    "For having developed the theory of portfolio choice."
    and William Sharpe
    ”For his contributions to the theory of price formation for financial assets, the so-called Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)."
    and Merton Miller
    "For his fundamental contributions to the theory of corporate finance."
  • 1991: Ronald Coase
    "For his discovery and clarification of the significance of transaction costs and property rights for the traditional structure and functioning of the economy."
  • 1992: Gary Becker
    "For having extended the domain of microeconomic analysis to a wide range of human behaviour and interaction, including non-market behaviour."
  • 1993: Robert Fogel and Douglass North
    "For having renewed research in economic history by applying economic theory and quantitative methods to explain economic and institutional change."
  • 1994: John Harsanyi, John Nash and Reinhard Selten
    "For their pioneering analysis of equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games."
  • 1995: Robert Lucas
    "For having developed and applied the hypothesis of rational expectations, and thereby having transformed macroeconomic analysis and deepened our understanding of economic policy."
  • 1996: James Mirrlees and William Vickrey
    "For their fundamental contributions to the economic theory of incentives under asymmetric information
  • 1997: Robert C. Merton and Myron S. Scholes
    "For a new method to determine the value of derivatives"
  • 1998: Amartya Sen
    “For his contributions to welfare economics.”
  • 1999: Robert A. Mundell
    “For his analysis of monetary and fiscal policy under different exchange rate regimes and his analysis of optimum currency areas.”
  • 2000: James J. Heckman
    “For his development of theory and methods for analyzing selective samples
    and Daniel L. McFadden
    “For his development of theory and methods for analyzing discrete choice.”
  • 2001: George A Ackerlof, A. Michael Spence, and Joseph E. Stiglitz
    “For their analyses of markets with asymmetric information.”
  • 2002: Daniel Kahneman
    “For having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty”
    and Vernon L Smith
    “For having established laboratory experiments as a tool in empirical economic analysis, especially in the study of alternative market mechanisms”

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