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Former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke among 3 given the Nobel Prize for work on banks

Two other U.S.-based economists, Douglas W. Diamond and Philip H. Dybvig, shared the honor for “research on banks and financial crises."
Image: FILES-SWEDEN-NOBEL-ECONOMICS
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at the World Business Forum in Hong Kong on June 2, 2015. Philippe Lopez / AFP - Getty Images file
/ Source: Associated Press

STOCKHOLM — This year’s Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences has been awarded to the former chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Ben S. Bernanke, and two U.S.-based economists, Douglas W. Diamond and Philip H. Dybvig, “for research on banks and financial crises.”

The prize was announced Monday by the Nobel panel at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.

The committee said their work had shown in their research “why avoiding bank collapses is vital.”

Nobel prizes carry a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (nearly $900,000) and will be handed out on Dec. 10.

Unlike the other prizes, the economics award wasn’t established in Alfred Nobel’s will of 1895 but by the Swedish central bank in his memory. The first winner was selected in 1969.

Last year, half of the award went to David Card for his research on how the minimum wage, immigration and education affect the labor market. The other half was shared by Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens for proposing how to study issues that don’t easily fit traditional scientific methods.

Image: SWEDEN-NOBEL-ECONOMICS
The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics was awarded to a U.S. trio for their contributions to explaining banks’ roles in the economy. Anders Wiklund / AFP - Getty Images

A week of Nobel Prize announcements kicked off Oct. 3 with Swedish scientist Svante Paabo receiving the award in medicine for unlocking secrets of Neanderthal DNA that provided key insights into our immune system.

Three scientists jointly won the prize in physics Tuesday. Frenchman Alain Aspect, American John F. Clauser and Austrian Anton Zeilinger had shown that tiny particles can retain a connection with each other even when separated, a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement, that can be used for specialized computing and to encrypt information.

The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded Wednesday to Americans Carolyn R. Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless, and Danish scientist Morten Meldal for developing a way of “snapping molecules together” that can be used to explore cells, map DNA and design drugs that can target diseases such as cancer more precisely.

French author Annie Ernaux won this year’s Nobel Prize in literature Thursday. The panel commended her for blending fiction and autobiography in books that fearlessly mine her experiences as a working-class woman to explore life in France since the 1940s.

The Nobel Peace Prize went to jailed Belarus human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, the Russian group Memorial and the Ukrainian organization Center for Civil Liberties on Friday.