Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Economists Nordhaus, Romer awarded 2018 Nobel prize

William Nordhaus left on screen and Paul Romer share the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences REUTERS Ilze Filks William Nordhaus left on screen and Paul Romer share the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
Kenny Thornton | 10 October, 2018, 15:30

He shared the prize with William Nordhaus of Yale, who researches the economic impact of climate change.

The Swedish Riksbank said the two men had won the prize - which is not one of those originally instigated by Alfred Nobel - because they had "designed methods for addressing some of our time's most basic and pressing questions about how we create long-term sustained and sustainable economic growth".

In this photo taken on April 05, 2000, United States president Bill Clinton sits next to Dr. William D. Nordhaus (R), professor of economics at Yale University, during the morning session of The White House Conference On The New Economy in the East Room of the White House.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded this year's Nobel Prize for economics to Yale University's William Nordhaus and New York University's Paul Romer.

Mr Romer has studied the way innovation drives prosperity and has looked at ways to encourage it. Who is going to solve the problem?

"Humans are capable of unbelievable accomplishments if we set our minds to it", Romer added.

Take climate change, for example.

Referring to the Trump administration's skepticism, the 77-year-old Nordhaus said Monday, "I think we just need to get through what is a hard period. But I'm extremely confident it will happen".

Limiting temperatures to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels, as the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urges, is economically and practically. Its latest report noted Nordhaus in its research. The gas traps heat in the atmosphere causing worldwide warming.

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On the other hand, Romer's research showed that how economic forces command the firms to come up with new ideas and innovations.

The prize comes just a day after an global panel of scientists issued a report detailing how Earth's weather, health and ecosystems would be in better shape if the world's leaders could somehow limit future human-caused warming to just 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (a half degree Celsius) from now, instead of the globally agreed-upon goal of 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C). Obviously, more people producing ideas means less people producing goods in the short run.

In the 1970s, Nordhaus, already alarmed by the threat of global warming, began working on potential solutions. Economic models he has developed since the 1990s are now widely used to weigh the costs and benefits of curbing greenhouse gas emissions against those of inaction.

William Nordhaus' model has been used to determine the economic effects of a carbon tax. Carbon tax policies are created to lead companies to find new ways to reduce pollution. The time for baby-step carbon taxes should probably be over.

Many economists have since endorsed the concept of taxing carbon and using this financial lever to influence societal behavior.

The two economists have not worked together, but the Nobel committee said their achievements are similar because they each built valuable economic models to study global problems.

NYU also issued a press release on Monday congratulating Romer on his accomplishment.

"His work suggests a key role for the government in protecting the property rights of innovators and subsidizing research".

The Economics Nobel is only informally called so and is not technically a Nobel award.

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