NBER Research Associates Thomas J. Sargent and Christopher A. Sims won 2011 Nobel Prize in Economics. Sargent is the Berkley Professor of Economics and Business at New York University, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a Research Associate in the NBER's Economic Fluctuations and Growth (EFG) Program. He has been an NBER Research Associate since 1970, with the exception of a brief interruption between 1973 and 1978. Sims is the Harold H. Helm '20 Professor of Economics and Banking at Princeton University and a Research Associate in the NBER's EFG and Monetary Economics Programs. He was a post-graduate research fellow at the NBER in 1970-71, and has been an NBER Research Associate since 1979.
The award citation prepared by the Prize Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences highlighted their contributions to "empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy." The citation notes that "expectations of the private sector regarding future economic activity and policy influence decisions about wages, saving and investment. Concurrently, economic policy decisions are influenced by expectations about developments in the private sector. The laureates' methods can be applied to identify these causal relationships and explain the role of expectations." It further notes that such modeling can help to identify the impact of various policy actions.
Sargent and Sims join a long list of current and past NBER affiliates who have received the Prize, including: Peter Diamond and Dale Mortenson (shared with Christopher Pissarides), 2010; Paul Krugman, 2008; Edward C. Prescott and Finn Kydland, 2004; Robert F. Engle (shared with Clive Granger), 2003; George Akerlof and Joseph E. Stiglitz (shared with Michael Spence), 2001; James J. Heckman and Daniel L. McFadden, 2000; Robert C. Merton and Myron S. Scholes, 1997; Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 1995; Robert W. Fogel (shared with Douglass North), 1993; Gary S. Becker, 1992; and the late George J. Stigler, 1982, Theodore W. Schultz (shared with Arthur Lewis), 1979, Milton Friedman, 1976, and Simon Kuznets, 1971.
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