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Northwestern University professor Dale Mortensen won the 2010 Nobel economics prize Monday for developing theories that help explain how economic policies can affect unemployment. He shares the award with three others, MIT economist Peter Diamond and and Christopher Pissarides, a British and Cypriot citizen.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences says they won the prestigious award “for their analysis of markets with search frictions.”
“The laureates’ models help us understand the ways in which unemployment, job vacancies and wages are affected by regulation and economic policy,” the citation said.
Mortensen, 71, is theIda C. Cook Professor of Economics at Northwestern University, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a research fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor. His research and teaching interests are in labor economics, macroeconomics and economic theory. He is currently a visiting professor at the University of Aarhus in Denmark.
Mortensen was informed that he had won the prize before a lecture, university spokesman Anders Correll said.
Mortensen received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Willamette University in 1961 and his Ph.D. in economics from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1967. Although he has been on the faculty of Northwestern University since 1965, he has also held visiting appointments at the University of Essex, Hebrew University, New York University, California Institute of Technology, and Cornell University.
Diamond analyzed the foundations of so-called search markets, while Mortensen and Pissarides expanded the theory and applied it to the labor market.
Since searching for jobs takes time and resources, it creates frictions in the job market, helping explain why there are both job vacancies and unemployment simultaneously, the academy said.
The economics prize is not among the original awards established by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in his 1895 will, but was created in 1968 by the Swedish central bank in his memory.
The economics jury was the last of the Nobel committees to announce 2010 winners. The awards are always handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896.