AFP

STOCKHOLM-US trio Robert Shiller, Eugene Fama and Lars Peter Hansen won the Nobel Economics Prize on Monday for groundbreaking work on spotting trends in markets, the jury said.

The three “have laid the foundation for the current understanding of asset prices. It relies in part on fluctuations in risk and risk attitudes, and in part on behavioural biases and market frictions,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

Shiller, 67, is a professor at Yale University, while Fama, 74, and Hansen, 61, are both professors at the University of Chicago. The award is for work done on the value of assets, such as stocks and bonds, and comes as the global economy is still reeling from the effects of the financial market crisis at the end of the last decade. The three were awarded for “surprising and contradictory” findings showing that the prices of stocks and bonds and other assets are easier to predict in the long term than in the short term.

“There is no way to predict the price of stocks and bonds over the next few days or weeks,” the academy said. “But it is quite possible to foresee the broad course of these prices over longer periods, such as the next three to five years.” Shiller, who spoke to the Swedish academy shortly after receiving the prize, said finance “has a body of knowledge that is useful to society.” The current crisis “reflected mistakes and imperfections in our financial system that we are already working on correcting,” he said. “Finance drives modern civilisation,” he said. “I want to see finance develop further to serve humankind.”