Yale Economist Wins Nobel Prize

Robert Shiller shared the prize with two other Americans "for their empirical analysis of asset prices."

Monday, Oct 14, 2013  |  Updated 8:46 PM EDT
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A Yale economics professor known for developing a widely-used measure of home prices was among three economists to be awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science.

Amanda Raus, Chris Podosek

A Yale economics professor known for developing a widely-used measure of home prices was among three economists to be awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science.

A Yale economics professor known for developing a widely-used measure of home prices was among three economists to be awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science.

Robert Shiller said Monday morning he was surprised to win the honor.  He shared the honor with Eugene Fama and Lars Peter Hansen, of the University of Chicago.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday honored the three "for their empirical analysis of asset prices."

"Well, I'm still in disbelief. I'm certainly honored by this event," Shiller said at a news conference in New Haven on Monday.  "I'm starting to wonder how I'm going to live up to the expectations that people now have of me."

Shiller developed the Case-Shiller index with Karl Case, a Wellesley College economist, a leading measure of U.S. residential real estate prices.

Shiller says that regulated properly, finance is something "at the core of our civilization." He says he's glad he and his colleagues are being recognized for that.

“I think that finance is often misunderstood as a field about how to make money, how to get rich. I have to tell my students here that’s not how I think of it. Finance is the study of human activity at large just about any useful thing that we would like to get done involves groups of people and it involves time," Shiller said. "It’s an activity that has to be consistently pursued over years of time, people will come and go. Well this is management but it is also finance. Finance is about financing activity. That means making the resources available, incentivizing people, spreading the risks, any useful thing is likely to have risks and that’s what I think we are about here.”

It's the second Nobel prize to a Yale faculty member in a week. James Rothman shared a Nobel in medicine last Monday.

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