French economist Jean Tirole won the Nobel Prize in economics today for research on market power and regulation. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences cites Tirole for clarifying "how to understand and regulate industries with a few powerful firms." Tirole, 61, works at the Toulouse School of Economics in France. "From the mid-1980s and onwards, Jean Tirole has breathed new life into research on such market failures," the academy says, adding his work has strong bearing on how governments deal with mergers or cartels and how they should regulate monopolies.
"In a series of articles and books, Jean Tirole has presented a general framework for designing such policies and applied it to a number of industries, ranging from telecommunications to banking," the academy says. Economics, the only prize not originally established by Alfred Nobel, is the final award given out by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; click for medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, and peace winners. The prizes will be presented Dec. 10. (Read more Nobel Prize stories.)