A combination picture shows William D. Nordhaus (L) and Paul Romer, who have won the 2018 Nobel Economics Prize. CNW/BBVA Foundation Award to William Nordhaus/NYU Stern School of Business
Americans William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, pioneers in adapting the western economic growth model to focus on environmental issues and sharing the benefits of technology, won the 2018 Nobel Economics Prize on Monday.
In a joint award that turned the spotlight on a rapidly shifting global debate over the impact of climate change, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the duo’s work was helping to answer basic questions over how to promote long-term, sustainable prosperity.
Romer, of New York University’s Stern School of Business, is best known for his work on endogenous growth, a theory rooted in investing in knowledge and human capital. He said he had been taken by surprise by the award, but offered a positive message.
“I think one of the problems with the current situation is that many people think that protecting (the) environment will be so costly and so hard that they just want to ignore them,” he told a news conference via telephone. “We can absolutely make substantial progress in protecting the environment and do it without giving up the chance to sustain growth.”
He told reporters he had long ago decided he would never seek to win the prize because doing so can “tear you apart.” He initially missed the early morning call from Sweden telling him he won before calling back when he was asked if would accept the prize.