Americans Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, and Robert Shiller today won the Nobel prize for economics for developing new methods to study trends in asset markets. The New York Times' simpler explainer: The three, who did not work together but were honored for their individual contributions on the subject, demonstrated "that stock prices, while unpredictable in the short term, tend to follow established rules in the long term." It's possible to foresee movements over periods of three years or longer, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences noted, saying the three had laid the foundation of the current understanding of asset prices.
"These findings, which might seem surprising and contradictory, were made and analyzed by this year's laureates," the academy said. Fama, 74, and Hansen, 60, are associated with the University of Chicago. Shiller, 67, of Case-Shiller index fame, is a professor at Yale University, and had this to say about winning: "Disbelief." American researchers have dominated the economics awards in recent years; the last time there was no American among the winners was in 1999. The Nobel committees have now announced all six of the annual $1.2 million awards for 2013.