Roles of ideas and climate in growth earn duo economics Nobel prize

Nobel Economics 2018 Awarded To US William D Nordhaus Paul M Romer

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.

David Warsh is the writer of the 2007 book, "Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations".

Nordhaus, 77, was specifically honored for "integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis".

The Swedish Royal Academy named Paul Romer as one of the recipients of the annual award. "I hope the prize today could help everyone see that humans are capable of fantastic accomplishments when we set about trying to do something".

A renowned economist famous for his "endogenous growth theory", Romer previously taught at universities including Stanford, the University of Chicago, and the University of California, Berkeley.

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William Nordhaus' model has been used to determine the economic effects of a carbon tax.

He said "Nordhaus has been concerned all along with repairing the damage" to the environment.

The Prize in Economic Sciences 2018 has been awarded to William D. Nordhaus "for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis" and Paul M. Romer "for integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis". "Romer has been writing about the means at your disposal" to attack such a technological challenge.

The two were awarded the prize for designing model that address issues such as the "long-term sustainable growth in the global economy and the welfare of the world's population", the award's committee said in a statement.

Romer's career has also taken him outside the academic world. This includes the relationship between technology innovation and economic growth, which makes the second recipient very relevant too.

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The research of Nordhaus and Romer is united by an interest in what drives economic growth and how to respond when unregulated market forces fail to deliver desired results. While capital and labour are "rival goods", in the sense that their use in the generation of value at one place precludes their use for generation of value elsewhere, while ideas are "non-rival goods", the same idea can produce value at multiple locations, unless restrictions are put on their access.

"His work suggests a key role for the government in protecting the property rights of innovators and subsidizing research". Both Romer and Nordhous have greatly influenced my thinking on numerous things I write about here at Techdirt, specifically when it comes to the economics of innovation, and, more specifically, the economics of information and so-called "non-rivalrous" goods (I prefer to call them "infinite goods").

Although the Prize in Economic Sciences is not a Nobel Prize, it is awarded according to the same principles followed when handing out the other Nobel Prizes.

Last year, the prize went to USA economist Richard Thaler, a co-founder of the so-called nudge theory, which shows how people can be persuaded to make decisions that leave them healthier and happier.

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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