Nobel Laureate Says Carbon Tax Will Help Us In The Long Run

William Nordhaus left on screen and Paul Romer share the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences

Nordhaus was awarded the prize "for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis".

The announcement comes after a United Nations report warned Monday that preventing an extra single degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people. He showed that "the most efficient remedy for problems caused by greenhouse gases is a global scheme of universally imposed carbon taxes".

Nordhaus was recognized for his pioneering work in applying economic analysis to climate change forecasts.

Romer, it has been suggested, was inspired by a graph showing how economic growth has skyrocketed since the industrial revolution, and decided he wanted to get to the bottom of it.

In an award that turned the spotlight on the global debate over risks associated with climate change, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the laureates' work helped answer fundamental questions on how to promote long-term sustainable growth and enhance human welfare. In an interview to Bloomberg in March previous year, Romer had said that the Aadhaar biometric database is the most sophisticated system he had ever seen.

Many economists have since endorsed the concept of taxing carbon and using this financial lever to influence societal behavior. But adopting the regulatory frameworks on a global scale has proven problematic, and the world's political leaders are failing to meet it, the head of the United Nations said last month.

Micael Dahlen, a professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, said that was all the more reason to give the nod to a woman this year. While he observed that numerous questions might have been better put to Nordhaus, he gave a formidable performance, demonstrating how the issues of climate change are not far from his main focus either.

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Romer's career has also taken him outside the academic world. The book, at times, comes off a bit "hero worshipy" of Romer, but it's totally worth it, as it puts into place an economic model that helps explain so much of why innovation remains so important.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly called climate change a hoax, and previous year announced that he would withdraw the United States from a global pact to combat it reached in 2015, calling the deal's demands for emissions cuts too costly. Romer's work found that unregulated economies will produce technological change, but insufficiently provide research and development; this can be addressed by government interventions such and R&D subsidies.

While he understood markets needed to take the lead, at the same time, they needed assistance from informed government policy.

"The reason is, if you look around, who are we talking about? And to raise the prices of goods and services that are carbon-intensive and to lower the ones that are less carbon-intensive". In a 2015 appreciation of Romer, Stanford University economist Charles Jones wrote, "Ideas are not depleted by use, and it is technologically feasible for any number of people to use an idea simultaneously once it has been invented".

The economics prize is the last of the Nobel prizes to be awarded this year.

The recipient of the Economics award previous year was Richard H. Thaler for his pioneering work in establishing that human behaviour is irrational and in defiance of economic theory.

The peace prize, which was announced in Oslo on October 5, was awarded to Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nadia Murad, an activist and victim of war crimes.

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