Monday, October 14, 2013

Three Americans share economics Nobel Prize

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2013 to three Americans – two University of Chicago professors and a scientist – this morning for their ‘empirical analysis of asset prices.’
This year’s economics Nobel prize was awarded jointly to Eugene F Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J Shiller ‘for their empirical analysis of asset prices’, according to the award-giving authority.
They have been awarded the prestigious award for the research that has improved the forecasting of asset prices in the long term and helped emergence of index funds in stock markets, said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences – in its press note – that will award the 8 million crown (some $1.25 million) prize to three Americans in Stockholm, Sweden.
“There is no way to predict the price of stocks and bonds over the next few days or weeks,” it said, adding that it is but quite possible to foresee the broad course of these prices over longer periods, such as the next three to five years. “These findings, which might seem both surprising and contradictory were made and analysed by this year's Laureates.”
The behaviour of asset prices are key to decisions like savings, house buying and national economic policy, the academy added. “Mispricing of assets may contribute to financial crises and, as the recent global recession illustrates, such crises can damage the overall economy and Fama, Hansen, and Shiller have developed new methods for studying asset prices and used them in their investigations of detailed data on the prices of stocks, bonds and other assets. Their methods have become standard tools in academic research, and their insights provide guidance for the development of theory as well as for professional investment practice.”
Among the three Laureates Fama is the Robert R McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at University of Chicago, whereas Hansen is the David Rockefeller Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and Statistics at University of Chicago – that is a centre of economics Nobel prize winners – and Shiller is a professor at Yale University.
Instituted by Sveriges Riksbank - the oldest central bank in the world –to celebrate its 300th anniversary in 1968, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was not part of the original group of awards set out in Nobel's 1895 will.

Lars Peter Hansen – best known as the developer of econometric technique called generalised method of moments (GMM), which is used to analyse complex economic models in numerous fields – in 2006 had won the Nemmers Prize for work that applied economic theory to the actual operations of the economy and markets and for research on how best to come up with policy in an uncertain environment. The GMM has been widely adopted where fully specifying and solving a model of a complex economic environment makes maximum likelihood estimation unwieldy.

Eugene Fama – also called the father of modern finance – is best-known for
research with long-time partner Kenneth French, a professor of Dartmouth College, which shows that certain groups of stocks tend to outperform over time. Known as the Fama-French ‘Three-Factor Model’, company size, style and market risk are now considered essential to employ in a diversified portfolio.

Robert Shiller – one of the best known as a namesake of the S&P/Case-Shiller housing price index – serves currently as
the Arthur M Okun Professor of Economics at Yale University and is a fellow at the Yale School of Management's International Center for Finance. His research relating to the dynamics of asset prices, risk sharing, financial market volatility and on bubbles and crises have received widespread attention among academics, practitioners, and policymakers.


·        45 Prizes in Economic Sciences have been awarded every year since 1969.
·        22 Prizes in Economic Sciences have been given to one Laureate only.
·        17 Prizes in Economic Sciences have been shared by two Laureates.
·        Six Prizes in Economic Sciences have been shared between three Laureates.
·        The average age of all Laureates in Economic Sciences between 1969 and 2012 is 67 years.
·        To date, the youngest Laureate in Economic Sciences is Kenneth J Arrow, who was 51 years old when he was awarded in 1972.
·        The oldest Laureate in Economic Sciences to date is Leonid Hurwicz, who was 90 years old when he was awarded in 2007. He is also the oldest Laureate to be awarded in all Prize categories.
·        Elinor Ostrom was the first female Laureate in Economic Sciences. Elinor Ostrom was awarded the Prize in 2009.
·        There have been no posthumous Prizes in Economic Sciences. From 1974, the Statutes of the Nobel Foundation stipulate that a Prize cannot be awarded posthumously, unless death has occurred after the announcement of the Prize. Before 1974, the Nobel Prize has only been awarded posthumously twice: to Dag Hammarskjold (Nobel Peace Prize 1961) and Erik Axel Karlfeldt (Nobel Prize in Literature 1931).
·        The University of Chicago previously claimed 10 Nobel laureates in economics among current and former faculty members, from Milton Friedman in 1976 to Roger Myerson in 2007.

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