Former U prof. wins Nobel Prize

Edward C. Prescott researched how government policies affect economies.

Stephanie Kudrle

A former University economics professor has won the most prestigious award in his field.

Officials announced Monday that Edward C. Prescott and Norwegian Finn E. Kydland will share the Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences.

Prescott taught at the University from 1980 to 1998 and from 1999 to 2003, with a year spent teaching at the University of Chicago, according to the Star Tribune. He is also a senior monetary adviser to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank.

The award recognizes Prescott’s research on how government policies affect economies around the world. He is also being heralded for his work on why business cycles can dampen with supply-side changes, such as high oil prices.

“He is certainly a very original thinker who just looks at issues in new ways,” said Ed Foster, chairman of the University’s economics department.

Currently, Prescott is a professor at Arizona State University at Tempe, Ariz. Prescott will receive his award in December in Sweden.

Foster said the research Prescott did changed the way a lot of economists think about problems.

“It was a privilege to have him in the department for so long,” Foster said. “He was a wonderful teacher and had very loyal students.”

When it was announced that Prescott had won the award, Foster said, he wasn’t too surprised.

“He’s been one of the leading candidates for the last few years,” Foster said. “Of all the people around the country who you think are going to get it, he’s been listed as likely winner for a few years now.”

Foster said Prescott left the University last year because he was angry with the level of support from the University’s administration. But, Foster said, he never quite understood why Prescott was upset.

“It’s not something I’ve experienced,” he said. “The dean (of the College of Liberal Arts) has been extremely supportive of the department.”

Although Prescott is no longer a part of the University, Foster said, many of his former students from across the country were invited to a party in his honor.

Foster was not available for comment Wednesday.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report