Climate change economists win Nobel prize

Nobel Prize in economics awarded to two American researchers for their studies in climate change and innovation

Nordhaus of Yale University and Paul M. Romer of the Stern School of Business in NY were awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics for their work on combining key questions surrounding climate change and innovation with economic growth.

Nordhaus, a professor of economics at Yale University, shares the award with Paul M. Romer of New York University's Stern School of Business, who also did graduate work at MIT. The Nobel committee said "Romer's research laid the foundation of what is now called endogenous growth theory".

Two researchers at American universities have been awarded the Nobel Prize for economics.

The notion of taxing polluters rather than imposing government edicts to cut emissions is based on the premise it would prompt companies to devise new ways of curbing pollution.

While both academics have done their work apart from one another, their research taken together can help confront politically challenging issues such as the United States under President Trump pulling out of the Paris accord on fighting climate change.

Romer told the Swedish academy in a live phone interview at the prize announcement that he was confident the world could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and still improve standards of living in the future.

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The applications of the model for the carbon tax has been criticized for several reasons, though.

Romer's work shows how knowledge can serve as a driver of long-term economic growth. But adopting the regulatory frameworks on a global scale has proven problematic, and the world's political leaders are failing to meet it, the head of the United Nations said last month. The time for baby-step carbon taxes should probably be over.

Romer explored why some countries have enjoyed faster economic growth over the long run than others. Its supporters encourage governments and the private sector to foster innovation and incentives for increased creativity. This explains how ideas are different from other physical goods and require certain conditions to thrive in a market. Once you eat a Swedish meatball, for instance, it's gone, noted Per Krusell, a Nobel committee member who is an economist at Sweden's Institute for International Studies.

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.

Though the prize is not technically considered a Nobel Prize, as it was not established in the will of Alfred Nobel, it is regarded to be equivalent to those prizes (Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Medicine) in the field of economics.

The peace prize, which was announced in Oslo on October 5, was awarded to Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nadia Murad, an activist and victim of war crimes.

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