Robert J. Shiller SM ’68, PhD ’72, an economist known for his work on the long-term fluctuations of asset prices in markets, will share the Nobel Prize in economic sciences for 2013, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced this morning.
Shiller, a professor of economics at Yale University, shares the award with Eugene F. Fama and Lars Peter Hansen, both of the University of Chicago. The academy announced that the award was being given to the three economists “for their empirical analysis of asset prices.”
The academy cited Shiller’s work, dating to the early 1980s, showing that stock prices are not as tightly linked to future dividends as the previous theory had held, but can become rapidly inflated. However, Shiller found, such swings in the market also lend themselves to a level of long-term predictability, since market corrections tend to ensue.
That principle, Shiller found, applied to bond prices as well. Shiller has subsequently become well known among the general public for using this approach to analyze the housing market.
As an economist, Shiller has also engaged the public sphere to a notable degree, writing widely read books for general audiences, including “Irrational Exuberance” (2000) and “Animal Spirits” (2009), co-authored with George Akerlof PhD ’66. He also helped develop the housing market data-analysis tools known as the Case-Shiller home price indices.
Shiller is the 80th winner of a Nobel Prize with a connection to MIT. Four people have won the Nobel Prize in economic sciences while serving as members of the MIT faculty; another nine MIT alumni, including Shiller, have won the prize. An additional four former MIT faculty have won the Nobel Prize in economic sciences.