Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Nobel Economics 2018 awarded to Americans William Nordhaus and Paul Romer

Nobel Economics 2018 awarded to Americans William Nordhaus and Paul Romer

"It's all about market failure", he added. 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. "So all I can do is that we'll get through this without too much damage".

To Romer, the government can play a decisive and crucial role of facilitating Ph.Ds., research, innovation, and other educational investment that can unlock real long-term growth for economies.

"In selecting doctors Romer and Nordhaus, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has recognized economic research that is, in its essence, an optimistic view of the power of economic theory", President Andrew Hamilton said in a press conference at the Kaufman Management Center.

"They are different in nature, but it's the same type of recipe that they offer", Per Krusell, a member of the prize committee said.

Many economists have since endorsed the idea of taxing carbon.

William Nordhaus' was the first person to describe how the economy interacts with science, to produce climate change and how economic policies, like carbon taxes, can affect the climate. The US is no longer a signatory of the Paris accord to address climate change, a broad swath of the country still denies the existence of the problem, and some state and federal policymakers don't incorporate climate science into their decision-making. But adopting the regulatory frameworks on a global scale has been a challenge, and the world's political leaders are failing to meet it, the head of the United Nations said last month.

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'From a historical perspective, there are about as many conservative as liberal economists in recent years and the trend has been for diversification, ' said economist Gabriel Soderberg of Sweden's Uppsala University. While he observed that numerous questions might have been better put to Nordhaus, he gave a formidable performance, demonstrating how the issues of climate change are not far from his main focus either. Assessing the impact of technological innovation, he concluded that unregulated economies fail to encourage enough research and development to support lasting growth. "I've been a little disappointed that the government hasn't been able to take the lead on anything in tech policy". "And to raise the prices of goods and services that are carbon-intensive and to lower the ones that are less carbon-intensive". "That sense of belonging means you can take satisfaction out of a career whether or not you happen to be the one who gets a prize for it".

But an idea - say, a recipe for Swedish meatballs - can be shared and used over and over again, delivering continual economic benefits.

Sergey V. Popov is a senior lecturer in economics at Cardiff University.

A year ago it was awarded to the behavioural economist Richard Thaler, who won for his work on nudge theory, the idea that small "nudges" can influence our economic and social behaviour, and his work around humans being irrational economic actors.

Nordhaus completed his PhD dissertation at MIT under the supervision of Robert M. Solow, himself the 1987 victor of the Nobel Prize in economic sciences.

This year four other Nobel prizes were handed out - Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland for Physics, Frances Arnold, George Smith and Gregory Winter for Chemistry, James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo for Medicine and Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for Peace.

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