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Nobel Prize in Economics: A history of winners

Nancy Farghalli Oct 15, 2012

It’s best known as the Nobel Prize for Economics, but the official name of the award handed out today for the 44th time is The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Since 1969 it has been awarded 44 times to 71 lauriates.

Americans Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley took home the 2012 prize. Roth is now at Stanford – and was at Harvard when he did his prize-winning work. (We spoke with Roth in an interview on the Marketplace Morning Report). Shapley is a professor emeritus at UCLA. The Nobel committee honored the two economists today for their work in “the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design.”

Here are a list of past winners:

2011: Thomas J. Sargent, Christopher A. Sims took home the 2011 award in Economics for their “empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy”

2010: The award went to Peter A. Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen, Christopher A. Pissarides for their “analysis of markets with search frictions”.


2009: Elinor Ostrom, Oliver E. Williamson

Elinor Ostrom won “for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons,” and Oliver E. Williamson “for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm.”

2008: Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman was cited “for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity.”


2007: Leonid Hurwicz, Eric S. Maskin, Roger B. Myerson

All three received the award “for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory.”

2006: Edmund Phelps

Edward Phelps won the award “for his analysis of intertemporal tradeoffs in macroeconomic policy.”


2005: Robert J. Aumann, Thomas C. Schelling

Both won for “for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis.”

More past winners:
2004 – Finn E. Kydland, Edward C. Prescott
2003 – Robert F. Engle III, Clive W.J. Granger
2002 – Daniel Kahneman, Vernon L. Smith
2001 – George A. Akerlof, A. Michael Spence, Joseph E. Stiglitz
2000 – James J. Heckman, Daniel L. McFadden
1999 – Robert A. Mundell
1998 – Amartya Sen
1997 – Robert C. Merton, Myron S. Scholes
1996 – James A. Mirrlees, William Vickrey
1995 – Robert E. Lucas Jr.
1994 – John C. Harsanyi, John F. Nash Jr., Reinhard Selten
1993 – Robert W. Fogel, Douglass C. North
1992 – Gary S. Becker
1991 – Ronald H. Coase
1990 – Harry M. Markowitz, Merton H. Miller, William F. Sharpe
1989 – Trygve Haavelmo
1988 – Maurice Allais
1987 – Robert M. Solow
1986 – James M. Buchanan Jr.
1985 – Franco Modigliani
1984 – Richard Stone
1983 – Gerard Debreu
1982 – George J. Stigler
1981 – James Tobin
1980- Lawrence R. Klein
1979 – Theodore W. Schultz, Sir Arthur Lewis
1978 – Herbert A. Simon
1977 – Bertil Ohlin, James E. Meade
1976 – Milton Friedman
1975 – Leonid Vitaliyevich Kantorovich, Tjalling C. Koopmans
1974 – Gunnar Myrdal, Friedrich August von Hayek
1973 – Wassily Leontief
1972 – John R. Hicks, Kenneth J. Arrow
1971 – Simon Kuznets
1970 – Paul A. Samuelson
1969 – Ragnar Frisch, Jan Tinbergen

All photos and quoted text from © The Nobel Foundation

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