William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, two economists from the US, were awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics 2018, today. They won for their proposed model of economic growth that made it possible to achieve continued prosperity while still being focused on addressing environmental concerns. Romer is an achieved economist who has served in numerous academic and professional capacities, including being the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank, until this year. Nordhaus is a professor of economics at Yale University, and is the one to come up with a quantitative model to help show the integral relationship that the economy and the environment have with each other. The prize money for the Economics award is $1 million.
Paul Romer said that he was not keen on winning the Nobel Prize for his work, having decided much earlier in his life that the result of striving for a win could prove to be most detrimental to his life and work. Speaking about his work connecting ongoing economic growth and prosperity to the environment, however, he said, “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. We can absolutely make substantial progress protecting the environment and do it without giving up the chance to sustain growth.”
According to William Nordhaus, as quoted in a Yale publication, “The key insight of my work was to put a price on carbon in order to hold back climate change. The main recipe is to make sure governments, corporations and households face a high price on their carbon emissions.”