Nordhaus of Yale University and Paul M. Romer of the Stern School of Business in NY were awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics for their work on combining key questions surrounding climate change and innovation with economic growth.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the winners had addressed "some of our time's most... pressing questions" on sustainable growth.
It said time was running out to avert disaster, noting that our planet's surface has already warmed one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit).
"We can absolutely make substantial progress to protecting the environment, and without giving up the chance for sustained growth", he said.
"'I didn't ever want it, but, yeah, I'll accept!'" he recalled replying at a separate news conference later at New York University.
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. The panel declined to comment on Monday's award.
The global economy must be transformed immediately to avoid catastrophic climate damage, a new United Nations report declares. My one disappointment with it is that for almost the entire book I was nodding in agreement with Romer, except for some stuff on intellectual property, where I felt that Romer gets his own model backwards. "It's a nice way to find out". Nordhaus' research shows that the most efficient remedy for problems caused by greenhouse gas emissions is a global scheme of carbon taxes uniformly imposed on all countries. What other ways do you feel like the worldwide community can work together to solve climate change? Finally, this year he won it and did so with William Nordhous, which is better still, as I'll explain shortly.
Romer teaches at NYU Stern and founded the Stern Urbanization Project.
Romer has studied the way innovation drives prosperity and has looked at ways to encourage it.
New academic work is beginning to combine Romer's and Nordhaus' models by studying how investment in research and development can lead to new technologies that replace fossil fuels, for example.
Strongly against dressing up political beliefs in hard science and math, Romer became the chief economist of the World Bank in 2016, before resigning 15 months later convinced that the bank's positive evaluation of Chile's economic policies was politically influenced. I've long recommended it to people who are interested in the economics of innovation, because the first half of it is a very entertaining and wonderful history of the economics of information, and the second half is the story of Romer coming up with his own theory of endogenous growth. The prize in economic sciences was added by Sweden's central bank in 1968. The group is part of the United Nations.
"I'd really like to see the prize go to (France's) Esther Duflo, whose research has focused on developing economies and gender equality, or Cuban-born American Carmen Reinhart, active in the field of public finance", Dahlen explained.