Nobel economics prize awarded to U.S.-based economists including Bernanke

Ben Bernanke, former Federal Reserve Chairman, speaks during the annual meeting of the American Economic Association and Allied Social Science Association Friday, January 4, 2019. Bernanke is one of three winners of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Economics.

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US economists Ben Bernanke, Douglas Diamond and Philip Dybvig were awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Economics for their research on banks and financial crises.

Bernanke served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 2006 to 2014 and is now at the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC Diamond is a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Dybvig is a professor at Washington University’s Olin Business School in Washington St. Louis .

The Nobel Committee said their work in the early 1980s “greatly improved our understanding of the role of banks in the economy, especially during financial crises” and showed why it is important to avoid bank failures. They added this was “invaluable” during the 2008/09 financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.

Bernanke’s analysis of the Great Depression of the 1930s showed how and why bank runs were a major reason the crisis was so long and severe. Diamond and Dybvig’s work, meanwhile, addressed the societal important role banks play in mediating the potential conflict between savers who want access to their money and the economy, which needs savings to invest. and how governments can help prevent bank runs by offering deposit insurance and acting as lenders of last resort.

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The winners of the prize – officially called the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel – will each receive 10 million Swedish kronor ($883,000).

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences selects the winners from a list of candidates recommended by the Economics Awards Committee. They make their selection from names submitted by invitation from around 3,000 professors, previous award winners and Academy members. People cannot nominate themselves.

In a press conference following the announcement, Diamond was asked if he had any warning for banks, institutions and governments given the current rise in interest rates and forecasts of an economic slowdown.

Diamond said: “Financial crises, as Phil Dybvig and I think about them, get worse when people start to lose faith in the stability of the system. in addition to stability.”

“At a time when things are happening unexpectedly, I think people are surprised at how quickly nominal interest rates have risen around the world, that can be something that creates some fears in the system. We’ve seen some of that in the UK in their liability driven sector of the insurance market.”

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“So I think the best advice is to be prepared, to ensure that your part of the banking sector is both perceived and remains healthy, and to respond appropriately and transparently to monetary policy changes.”

Asked if he foresaw another financial crisis, he said the world was “much better prepared” than in 2008 and regulatory improvements had made the system less vulnerable.

“The banking sector itself is in very good shape, with good net worth and good risk management,” he said. “The problem is that these vulnerabilities of fear of runs and dislocations and crises can appear anywhere, not just in commercial banks.”

The lesson he and Dybvig were trying to convey, he said, is that being able to issue short-term, liquid liabilities like deposits or stocks that are more liquid than the underlying assets is crucial. He again quoted the UK insurance sector as saying the “disagreement” came about as there were calls for more collateral from insurance companies. The Bank of England was forced to step in to ease market turmoil and protect pension funds after a disputed government budget.

The Fed's delayed inflation response was a mistake, says former Chairman Ben Bernanke

Last year, the business prize was divided into three parts. He went to David Card for his work on labor economics; and Joshua D. Angrist and Guido W. Imbens for their contributions to causal analysis.

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Unlike the five other Nobel Prizes awarded since 1901 and given in the will of Swedish inventor, chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel, the Economics Prize was established in 1969 by the Swedish Central Bank in his honor. It is the last to be announced each year.

The prestigious Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, the Russian human rights organization Memorial and the Ukrainian NGO Center for Civil Liberties on Friday.

This year’s Physics Prize went to Alain Aspect, John Francis Clauser and Anton Zeilinger for discoveries in quantum mechanics. The Nobel Committee said it had conducted “groundbreaking experiments” studying particles in entangled states, ushering in a new era in quantum technology.

The chemistry award was split between Carolyn R. Bertozzi for her work using click and bioorthogonal chemistry to map cells and develop more targeted cancer treatments; and Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless, who the committee said had “laid the foundations of click chemistry,” which involves joining biocompatible molecules together.

The medicine prize was awarded to Svante Paabo “for his discoveries on the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution”.

The literary prize went to the French author Annie Ernaux.

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