Nobel economics award presented to two Americans

Thursday, October 10, 2002

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Two Americans won the Nobel prize for economics Wednesday for pioneering the use of psychological and experimental economics in decision-making. It was the third year in a row that Americans have taken the prize.

Daniel Kahneman, 68, a U.S. and Israeli citizen based at Princeton University in New Jersey and Vernon L. Smith, 75, of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., will share the $1 million prize. Of the 51 people who have received the prize, 34 have been from the United States.

Kahneman has integrated insights from psychology into economics, "especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in its citation.

His experiments in probability theory showed a shortsightedness in interpreting data that could explain large fluctuations on financial markets and other phenomena that elude existing models, the academy said.

Smith laid the foundation for the field of experimental economics, demonstrating the importance of alternative institutions.

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