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Richard Thaler awarded Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

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Richard Thaler has won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, rounding off this years Nobel awards. Although the prize was not originally created by Alfred Nobel himself, it is widely seen as equaling them in honor.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday awarded the Nobel Prize in economics to Richard Thaler.

The prize, formally known as the Severiges Riksbank (Bank of Sweden) Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, is not one of the original prizes mentioned in the will of Nobel (1833-96), the Swedish inventor of dynamite who instigated a series of awards in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace.

Contested validity

Instead, the economics prize, worth 9 million kroner (€945,300, $1.1 million) like the other Nobel awards, was founded by the Bank of Sweden on its tercentenary in 1968 and first awarded in 1969.

Some critics have contested its validity, maintaining that it honors a science undeserving of the name. Even one well-known recipient of the prize, Friedrich Hayek, has voiced reservations, saying that the award could risk giving a handful of economists a dangerous amount of influence.

However, it is broadly considered as being equal to the other Nobel awards, and its winner also attends the presentation ceremony.

Only one woman, Elinor Ostrom of the United States, has won the economics prize to date. Last year, it went to British-born economist Oliver Hart and Finnish economist Bengt Holmstrom for their work on contracts.

The Nobel awards are scheduled to be presented in Stockholm, Sweden on October 10, the anniversary of Nobels death.

tj/ (dpa, AP)
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