William Nordhaus and Paul Romer win Nobel Economics Prize

William Nordhaus left on screen and Paul Romer share the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences

Scientist Alfred Nobel's will, which established the Nobel awards, only mentions the field of physiology (or medicine), literature, physics, chemistry and peace. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change argued Sunday that preventing an extra single degree of heat over the next few decades could make a life-or-death difference for millions of people and ecosystems on Earth.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the $1 million prize to William Nordhaus of Yale University and Paul Romer of New York University.

A trailblazer in gauging the economic impact of climate change, Yale University's Nordhaus is known for advocating a tax on carbon emissions.

Nordhaus' brother, Bob, is a prominent environmental attorney who penned portions of the Clean Air Act of 1970, specifically the part about allowing the government to regulate previously unnamed pollutants.

His work, which he began in the 1970s, deals with the interactions between economy and nature. Nordhaus made a decision to work on this topic in the 1970s, as scientists had become increasingly anxious about the combustion of fossil fuel resulting in a warmer climate.

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The Dynamic Integrated model of Climate and the Economy (DICE), in its many iterations, has been used to work out just how much it will cost to curb the effects of global warming, and even extrapolate what are the economic benefits of different strategies. The model doesn't include climate tipping points, which have the capacity to be devastating, and it looks at keeping the climate below 3°C above pre-industrial levels, which we're already in line to hit. "It is used to examine the consequences of climate policy interventions, for example carbon taxes".

Romer, now an economics professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, was recognized by the Nobel committee for laying the groundwork for endogenous growth theory, which stresses that well-designed policies and regulations can significantly encourage innovation and economic growth. In 1990, he published his work which is the foundation of what is now called Endogenous Growth Theory. He was chief economist at the World Bank from 2016 to 2018, and is credited with the quote "A crisis is a bad thing to waste".

Romer's work shows how knowledge can serve as a driver of long-term economic growth.

The prize comes just a day after an worldwide panel of scientists warned that preventing an extra single degree of global warming could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems. Its laureates primarily focus on macroeconomic research.

His research demonstrated how economic forces govern the willingness of companies to produce new ideas and innovations. His vision was to model new ideas as goods and services.

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