US economist Edmund S. Phelps won the 2006 Nobel Economics Prize
Monday for work on trade-offs in macroeconomic policy, the Nobel
jury said, noting that his work had improved understanding of how
policy affected welfare for present and future generations.
His work has "deepened our understanding of the relation between
short-run and long-run effects of economic policy" and has had "a
decisive impact on economic research as well as policy", the jury
Phelps, 73, is a professor of political economy at Columbia
University in New York.
His research has shown that although full employment, stable
prices and rapid growth are central goals of economic policy,
trade-offs sometimes need to be made between the consumption of
current and future generations.
"He has emphasized that not only the issue of savings and
capital formation but also the balance between inflation and
unemployment are fundamentally issues about the distribution of
welfare over time," the Nobel committee said.
Phelps will take home the prize sum of US$1.37 million.
The Nobel Economics Prize, the fourth of the six coveted prizes
to be awarded this year, is the only one not originally included in
the last will and testament of the creator of the awards, Swedish
inventor Alfred Nobel.
It was created by the Swedish Central Bank in commemoration of
its tricentenary in 1968, and was first awarded in 1969. It is also
funded by the bank.
The prizes for Medicine, Physics and Chemistry were awarded last
week. The Literature Prize will be announced on Thursday and the
Peace Prize on Friday.
The Medicine Prize went to US research duo Andrew Fire and Craig
Mello for their discovery of how to silence malfunctioning genes, a
breakthrough which could lead to an era of new therapies to reverse
The Physics Prize went to US space scientists John Mather and
George Smoot on Tuesday for a pioneering space mission which
supports the "Big Bang" theory about the origins of the
(China Daily October 10, 2006)