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Two U.S. Researchers Win Nobel Economics Prize

A combo photo shows the winners of the 2011 Nobel prize for economics, Americans Thomas Sargent (right) and Christopher Sims.
Two Americans -- Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims -- have won this year's Nobel prize for economics.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in its announcement today, said the pair won the prize "for their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy."

"Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims have developed methods that have helped us overcome these difficulties in interpreting macroeconomic data," Per Krusell, a member of the prize-awarding committee, explained. "Thanks to their methods, we are now able to come much closer to an understanding of what caused what. We can learn how macroeconomic variables such as unemployment and inflation are influenced by policy."

Sargent and Sims -- both 68 -- carried out their research independently in the 1970s and '80s.

The economics prize is the final of this year's Nobel awards following announcements last week in the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, and peace.

The economics prize is not among the original awards established in the 1895 will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel but was created in 1968 by the Swedish central bank in his memory.

compiled from agency reports