15 Oct 2013

Three economists share Nobel prize

8:30 am on 15 October 2013

The 2013 Nobel Prize in economics has been awarded to Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller for their "empirical analysis of asset prices".

The award committee says the trio's separate pieces of work have "laid the foundation for the current understanding of asset prices".

The prize of nearly $1.5 million will be shared equally among the three winners, all of whom work in the field of what has been called behavioural finance.

The committee praises Mr Fama, from the University of Chicago, for demonstrating that share prices are extremely difficult to predict in the short run, with new information quickly incorporated into prices. It says his findings have had a profound impact on subsequent research, and also changed market practice.

Lars Peter Hansen, also from the University of Chicago, was awarded the prize for his development of a statistical method capable of testing theories on asset pricing.

Robert Shiller, from Yale University, was included for his 1980s discovery that stock prices fluctuate much more than corporate dividends.

He told the BBC the award was a complete surprise. "I had friends telling me I'd get it," he said, " but I didn't believe them."

Professor Shiller is known for his works on financial bubbles, as outlined in his book Irrational Exuberance.

The economics award was added to the Nobel awards in 1968 by Sweden's central bank as a memorial to Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who created the other five prizes - for medicine, chemistry, physics, literature and peace - in 1895.