San Francisco Chronicle

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NYU’s Sargent, Princeton’s Sims Win Nobel Prize in Economics
San Francisco Chronicle

New York University’s Thomas J. Sargent and Princeton University’s Christopher A. Sims shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for their work in sorting out cause from effect in the economy and policy.

« Although Sargent and Sims carried out their research independently, their contributions are complementary in several ways, » the academy said. « The laureates’ seminal work during the 1970s and 1980s has been adopted by both researchers and policy makers throughout the world. Today, the methods developed by Sargent and Sims are essential tools in macroeconomic analysis. »

Sargent’s work suggests that government stimulus programs such as those advocated by John Maynard Keynes have a limited effect on the economy because consumers and companies realize the measures will be temporary. That’s an argument that Republican lawmakers have used in opposing President Barack Obama’s proposals for spurring growth.

The award to Sargent « is very much a ‘non-Keynesian’ prize, » Tyler Cowen, professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, wrote on his blog.