The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2010 to Peter A. Diamond (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA), Dale T. Mortensen (Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA), and Christopher A. Pissarides (London School of Economics and Political Science, UK), for "their analysis of markets with search frictions".
The prize amount: SEK 10 million, to be shared equally by the Laureates.
Why are so many people unemployed at the same time that there are a large number of job openings? How can economic policy affect unemployment?
This year's Laureates have developed a theory which can be used to answer these questions. This theory is also applicable to markets other than the labour market.
On many markets, buyers and sellers do not always make contact with one another immediately. This concerns, for example, employers who are looking for employees and workers who are trying to find jobs.
Since the search process requires time and resources, it creates frictions in the market.
On such search markets, the demands of some buyers will not be met, while some sellers cannot sell as much as they would wish. Simultaneously, there are both job vacancies and unemployment on the labour market.
This year's three Laureates have formulated a theoretical framework for search markets.
Peter Diamond has analysed the foundations of search markets. Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides have expanded the theory and have applied it to the labour market.
The Laureates' models help us understand the ways in which unemployment, job vacancies, and wages are affected by regulation and economic policy.
This may refer to benefit levels in unemployment insurance or rules in regard to hiring and firing. One conclusion is that more generous unemployment benefits give rise to higher unemployment and longer search times.
Search theory has been applied to many other areas in addition to the labour market. This includes, in particular, the housing market.
The number of homes for sale varies over time, as does the time it takes for a house to find a buyer and the parties to agree on the price.
Search theory has also been used to study questions related to monetary theory, public economics, financial economics, regional economics, and family economics.
Peter A. Diamond, a US citizen was born 1940 in New York City, NY, USA. He completed his Ph.D in 1963. He is currently the Institute Professor and Professor of Economics, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA.
Dale T. Mortensen, a US citizen was born in 1939 in Enterprise, Oregon, USA. Completed his Ph.D. in 1967 from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. He is now the Ida C. Cook Professor of Economics at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA.
Christopher A. Pissarides, a British and Cypriot citizen was born in 1948 in Nicosia, Cyprus. He completed his Ph.D in 1973, and is now the Professor of Economics and Norman Sosnow Chair in Economics, at London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.
Image: The 2010 Nobel Prize for Economics was shared by Peter A Diamond (top), Dale T Mortensen (bottom left), and Christopher A Pissarides.