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‘Green growth’ duo wins Nobel prize

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US economists William Nordhaus and Paul Romer shared this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics for constructing “green growth” models that show how innovation and climate policies can be integrated with economic growth, reported Taipei Times (Taiwan).

Working independently, they have addressed “some of our time’s most basic and pressing questions about how we create long-term sustained and sustainable growth,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

Nordhaus is a professor at Yale University, while Romer, the former World Bank chief economist, is at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

The academy said their models, both developed in the 1990s, have “significantly broadened the scope of economic analysis.”

Romer told the Swedish academy in a live telephone interview at the prize announcement that he was confident the world could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and still improve standards of living.

“We can absolutely make substantial progress to protecting the environment and without giving up the chance for sustained growth,” he said. “One of the problems with the current situation is that many people think that dealing with protecting the environment will be so costly and so hard that they will ignore the problem and deny it exists. I hope the prize will help people see humans are capable of amazing accomplishments when we try to do something.”

While Nordhaus and Romer “do not deliver conclusive answers ... their findings have brought us considerably closer to answering the question of how we can achieve sustained and sustainable global economic growth,” the jury said.

Nordhaus, 77, was honored for “integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis.”

His “integrated assessment model” was created in the 1990s, and combines theories and empirical results from physics, chemistry and economics; it can show how the economy and climate co-evolve.

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