Former economics professor Paul Romer receives Nobel Prize

Pauline Gross
October 10, 2018

In this photo taken on April 05, 2000, U.S. 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. They both framed their ideas in the then nascent field of economic growth, and both changed it completely.

Economist Paul Romer won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics on Monday.

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

Nordhaus, a Yale University professor known for his research on the economic consequences of global warming, bears two of the typical characteristics of a Nobel economics laureate: he's a man, and he's American, like 70 percent of previous prizewinners.

William Nordhaus has developed models to find an efficient path for coping with climate change since the 1970s.

"Nordhaus has been concerned all along with repairing the damage" to the global environment", Warsh said.

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. Many Republicans in Congress have also expressed skepticism about whether or how much human beings are contributing to global warming and whether the US government ought to take steps to address it. When annual economic growth of a few percent accumulates over decades, it transforms people's lives. Assessing the impact of technological innovation, he concluded that unregulated economies fail to encourage enough research and development to support lasting growth.

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Romer laid the foundation for "endogenous growth theory", which predicts economic growth based on internal factors such as investment in human capital rather than exclusively on external factors, such as bringing in more advanced equipment and technology from the outside.

His work drew wide attention during the computer boom of the late 1990s, with some proponents suggesting it might serve as a basis for a massive government effort to underwrite technological innovations.

Every generation has perceived the limits to growth that finite resources and undesirable side effects would pose if no new recipes or ideas were discovered.

Romer has studied the way innovation creates profit increase. Instead of technological growth simply happening-as if falling upon the economy from the sky-his doctoral thesis assumed that economic agents, such as people or businesses, can actively affect the speed of economic growth.

Last year's prize went to one of the founders of behavioral economics and finance, Richard H. Thaler of Chicago University, for his work studying human bias at a time when other economists still viewed people as rational actors.

Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege and Social Justice Warrior Nadia Murad received the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war".

One of the winners of this year's Nobel Prize in economics is the son of former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer.

Other reports by GizPress

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