William Nordhaus, Paul Romer win Nobel Economics Prize

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said they had addressed "some of our time's most basic and pressing questions" about sustainable growth. He taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Rochester, the University of California Berkeley and Stanford University before working at New York University.

The awarding of the prize proved timely, given it coincided with the release of findings from a United Nations panel warning of ominous consequences of climate change and calling on world leaders to respond with greater urgency.

It is now widely "used to simulate how the economy and climate co-evolve". The question of climate change remains politically sensitive, especially in big oil-producing countries like the United States, which US President Donald Trump has pulled out of the Paris accord on fighting climate change.

"We overslept and when we got up, I got a nice call from my daughter", Nordhaus told Reuters at his home in New Haven, Connecticut. His models showed how the economic forces, whether they be government decisions or market conditions, affect the development of new ideas and innovation, and that knowledge can drive economic growth. He showed that "the most efficient remedy for problems caused by greenhouse gases is a global scheme of universally imposed carbon taxes".

Romer's work suggests that to achieve the innovation needed to meet the climate change goals, regulation is needed.

The committee also cited Romer's work to develop what is now known as the "endogenous growth theory".

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Monday's award of the last of the 2018 Nobels took place less than a month after the 10th anniversary of the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers. 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.

That triggered an economic crisis from which the world's financial system is arguably still recovering.

In this photo taken on January 31, 2017 World Bank Chief economist Paul Romer attends the opening session of the 6th edition of the "Entretiens du Tresor" seminar at the Economy Ministry in Paris.

Ten years after the financial crisis erupted, interest rates remain at or close to record lows in many major economies including Sweden, where they have languished below zero since early 2015.

The pair will share the nine million Swedish kronor (about $1.01 million or 860,000-euro) prize.

Annual prizes for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, peace and literature were established in the will of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, who died in 1896. An additional seven former MIT faculty have won the Nobel Prize in economic sciences.

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