William Nordhau, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University and the world’s leading economist on climate change, has been awarded the 2018 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences for “integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis. Nordhaus shared the prize with Paul Romer, professor of economics at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
Nordhaus’ research has focused on economic growth and natural resources, the economics of climate change, and resource constraints on economic growth. Since the 1970s, he has developed economic approaches to global warming, including the construction of integrated economic and scientific models (the DICE and RICE models) to determine the efficient path for coping with climate change. These models are widely used today in research on studies of climate-change economics and policies. He has also studied wage and price behavior, health economics, augmented national accounting, the political business cycle, productivity, and the “new economy.”
On winning the award Nordhaus said “I am honoured to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for work on environmental economics, but even more, I am grateful for the intellectual environment at Yale that taught me as a student, nurtured me as a teacher and scholar, and allowed the freedom to devote my life to one of the critical emerging issues of humanity.”
President Peter Salovey, Yale University said: “This is a fitting recognition of William Nordhaus work on the economics of climate change. Yale is absolutely thrilled to have one of our most distinguished faculty who is also one of our most distinguished alumni receive this great honour.”
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Nordhaus completed his undergraduate work at Yale in 1963 and received his Ph.D. in economics in 1967 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the Yale faculty in 1967 and in 2001 became a Sterling Professor of Economics — the highest honor given to a Yale faculty member. He is also a professor in Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
From 1977 to 1979, Nordhaus was a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers; from 1986 to 1988, he was provost of Yale University. He has served on several committees of the National Academy of Sciences on topics including climate change, environmental accounting, risk, and the role of the tax system in climate change.