A delayed Nobel

In Economics, researchers tend to be awarded well after they’ve shared their work with the world.

For example, the 1997 prize went to economists behind the Black-Scholes Model for a formula they first developed in 1973. Their collaborator Fischer Black had died by the time the prize was awarded.

In 2016, the prize went to economists who worked on “contract theory” in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Economics Prize, by the digits

53: Nobel Prizes in Economic Sciences awarded between 1901 and 2021

89: People who’ve been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences since 1901

2: Women who’ve been awarded the economics prize

46: The age of the youngest economics laureate, Esther Duflo, who won in 2019. She’s also only the second woman to have won the prize besides 2009 winner Elinor Ostrom whose “analysis of economic governance, especially the commons” won her the honor

90: The age of the oldest economics laureate, Leonid Hurwicz, who won alongisde Eric S. Maskin and Roger B. Myerson for “for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory”

58: The number of Nobel in economics, including last year’s, won by Americans so far (Often, it’s immigrants winning)

Person of Interest: The non-economist

In 1978, Herbert A. Simon became the first non-economist to win the Economics Prize. He was Ph.D. was in political science who won for his pioneering research into the decision-making process within economic organizations.

“Simon has been awarded this year’s prize in economics for his research into the decision-making process within economic organizations, but he has also made other important contributions to the science of economics,” the Nobel Committee wrote. “For example, his interest in simplifying and understanding complex decision-making situations led him at an early stage to the problem of breaking down complex equation systems. His studies of ‘causal order’ in such systems have been of particular importance.”

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