July 16, 2024 

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VON THUNEN MODEL: A model of land use develop by Johann von Thunen that illustrates the trade off between land values and the distance from a central point of attraction. While originally applied to agricultural land use, the von Thunen model is commonly used to explain urban land use patterns. Two primary conclusions from the model are (1) that land values decrease as distance from the central point of attraction increases and (2) that different land use activities are contained in concentric rings equal distance from the central point of attraction based on the weight (or transportation cost) of the activity.

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An award given annually since 1969 to an economist or scholar in recognition of a major contribution to the study of economics. It was established by the Bank of Sweden and is annually awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. The official name of the award is The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. It is the only Nobel Prize awarded for a social science. The first Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded in 1969 to Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen.
The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences is the most prestigious award that can be bestowed upon an economist. Many aspire, few receive. It is not one of the original Nobel Prizes established by the Nobel Foundation in 1901 (Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, and Peace). In fact, it is not technically considered a "Nobel Prize." It was instituted by the Bank of Sweden in 1968 and has since been awarded through the Nobel Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The award is announced each October, with official ceremonies taking place in December.

What it Takes to Win

The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences is awarded in recognition of a major contribution to economics. Some of the contributions seem obscure and somewhat esoteric to the untrained. For example, Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen were jointly awarded the first Noble Prize in 1969 for developing dynamic models of economic processes. Others, however, seem to make more sense. Gary Becker was awarded the Noble Prize in 1992 for extending microeconomics to a wide range of human behavior.

To be considered for the Nobel Prize, a person must be nominated by a relative select group that includes past Nobel Prize winners, members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, members of the Nobel Prize committee of the Bank of Sweden, and a few other distinguished, notable people. Nominations are received by the selection committee in January. All nominations and deliberations are kept secret. The Prize is then announced in October, with the official awards ceremony in December.

Awards are generally made to scholars based either on a lifetime of significant contributions in several areas or the strength of a single monumental contribution. Milton Friedman, for example, was cited for his work in monetary history, monetary theory, consumption analysis, and stabilization policy. John Nash, in contrast, was cited for his development of game theory analysis.

A Growing List

Since 1969, over 50 scholars have been awarded the Noble Prize in Economic Science. As already noted, Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen were the first recipients in 1969. Other notables on the list of Laureates are: Paul Samuelson (1970), Simon Kuznets (1971), John R. Hicks and Kenneth J. Arrow (1972), Milton Friedman (1976), James Tobin (1981), George J. Stigler (1982), James M. Buchanan Jr. (1986), Robert M. Solow (1987), Ronald H. Coase (1991), Gary S. Becker (1992), Robert E. Lucas Jr. (1995), Robert A. Mundell (1999), and Daniel Kahneman and Vernon L. Smith (2002).

Here is a complete list:

Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences
Year Recipient(s) Contribution
2003 ROBERT F. ENGLE for methods of analyzing economic time series with time-varying volatility
CLIVE W. J. GRANGERfor methods of analyzing economic time series with common trends (cointegration)
2002 DANIEL KAHNEMAN for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty
VERNON L. SMITHfor having established laboratory experiments as a tool in empirical economic analysis, especially in the study of alternative market mechanisms
2001 GEORGE A. ACKERLOF, A. MICHAEL SPENCE, and JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ for their analyses of markets with asymmetric information
2000 JAMES J. HECKMAN for his development of theory and methods for analyzing selective samples
DANIEL L. MCFADDEN for his development of theory and methods for analyzing discrete choice
1999 ROBERT A. MUNDELL for his analysis of monetary and fiscal policy under different exchange rate regimes and his analysis of optimum currency areas
1998 AMARTYA SEN for his contributions to welfare economics
1997 ROBERT C. MERTON and MYRON S. SCHOLES for a new method to determine the value of derivatives
1996 JAMES A. MIRRLEES and WILLIAM VICKREY for their fundamental contributions to the economic theory of incentives under asymmetric information
1995 ROBERT LUCAS for having developed and applied the hypothesis of rational expectations, and thereby having transformed macroeconomic analysis and deepened our understanding of economic policy
1994 JOHN C. HARSANYI , JOHN F. NASH and REINHARD SELTEN for their pioneering analysis of equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games
1993 ROBERT W. FOGEL and DOUGLASS C. NORTH for having renewed research in economic history by applying economic theory and quantitative methods in order to explain economic and institutional change
1992 GARY S. BECKER for having extended the domain of microeconomic analysis to a wide range of human behavior and interaction, including nonmarket behavior
1991 RONALD H. COASE for his discovery and clarification of the significance of transaction costs and property rights for the institutional structure and functioning of the economy
1990 HARRY M. MARKOWITZ , MERTON M. MILLER and WILLIAM F. SHARPE for their pioneering work in the theory of financial economics
1989 TRYGVE HAAVELMO for his clarification of the probability theory foundations of econometrics and his analyses of simultaneous economic structures
1988 MAURICE ALLAIS for his pioneering contributions to the theory of markets and efficient utilization of resources
1987 ROBERT M. SOLOW for his contributions to the theory of economic growth
1986 JAMES M. BUCHANAN, JR. for his development of the contractual and constitutional bases for the theory of economic and political decision-making
1985 FRANCO MODIGLIANI for his pioneering analyses of saving and of financial markets
1984 SIR RICHARD STONE for having made fundamental contributions to the development of systems of national accounts and hence greatly improved the basis for empirical economic analysis
1983 GERARD DEBREU for having incorporated new analytical methods into economic theory and for his rigorous reformulation of the theory of general equilibrium
1982 GEORGE J. STIGLER for his seminal studies of industrial structures, functioning of markets and causes and effects of public regulation
1981 JAMES TOBIN for his analysis of financial markets and their relations to expenditure decisions, employment, production and prices
1980 LAWRENCE R. KLEIN for the creation of econometric models and the application to the analysis of economic fluctuations and economic policies
1979 THEODORE W. SCHULTZ and SIR ARTHUR LEWIS for their pioneering research into economic development research with particular consideration of the problems of developing countries
1978 HERBERT A. SIMON for his pioneering research into the decision-making process within economic organizations
1977 BERTIL OHLIN and JAMES E MEADE for their pathbreaking contribution to the theory of international trade and international capital movements
1976 MILTON FRIEDMAN for his achievements in the fields of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy
1975 LEONID VITALIYEVICH KANTOROVICH and TJALLING C. KOOPMANS for their contributions to the theory of optimum allocation of resources
1974 GUNNAR MYRDAL and FRIEDRICH AUGUST VON HAYEK for their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena
1973 WASSILY LEONTIEF for the development of the input-output method and for its application to important economic problems
1972 SIR JOHN R. HICKS and KENNETH J. ARROW for their pioneering contributions to general economic equilibrium theory and welfare theory
1971 SIMON KUZNETS for his empirically founded interpretation of economic growth which has led to new and deepened insight into the economic and social structure and process of development
1970 PAUL A SAMUELSON for the scientific work through which he has developed static and dynamic economic theory and actively contributed to raising the level of analysis in economic science
1969 RAGNAR FRISCH and JAN TINBERGEN for having developed and applied dynamic models for the analysis of economic processes


Recommended Citation:

NOBEL PRIZE IN ECONOMIC SCIENCES, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia,, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2024. [Accessed: July 16, 2024].

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