STOCKHOLM (AFP) - French economist Jean Tirole won the Nobel Economics Prize on Monday, for his analysis of big companies, market power and regulation, the Royal Academy of Sciences said.
Tirole, the second Frenchman to be honoured this year, is “one of the most influential economists of our time,” the jury said.
“Many industries are dominated by a small number of large firms or a single monopoly,” the jury said of the economist, from Toulouse 1 Capitole University.
“Left unregulated, such markets often produce socially undesirable results – prices higher than those motivated by costs, or unproductive firms that survive by blocking the entry of new and more productive ones.”
The prize will be awarded at a ceremony in Stockholm on Dec 10, the anniversary of the death of the prizes’ creator, Swedish scientist and philanthropist Alfred Nobel.
The economics prize is the only Nobel not originally included in Nobel’s last will and testament. It was established in 1968 by the Swedish central bank to celebrate its tricentenary, and first awarded in 1969. The other prizes have been awarded since 1901.
The award of this year’s prize to a French national marked a departure from American dominance on the list of laureates. Over the past decade, 18 out 20 economics prize laureates have been from the United States, including one Israeli-American. Last year, US scholars Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller won for their work on spotting trends in the asset markets.
The economics prize winds up this year’s Nobel season, marked the award of the peace prize to 17-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai and India’s Kailash Satyarthi, and the literature prize to French writer Patrick Modiano.