Economist William Nordhaus Named Recipient of the 2020 Moynihan Prize
The American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS) has awarded the 2020 Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize to economist William Nordhaus. The Moynihan Prize is awarded annually to a leading policy-maker, social scientist, or public intellectual whose career demonstrates the value of using research and evidence to improve the human condition.
Nordhaus’s pioneering work has been foundational to worldwide efforts to address climate change. He was the first macroeconomist to take seriously the notion that climate can be influenced by human behavior and that human action and economic policy can influence climate. He has gone on to develop influential models that examine the consequences of climate policy interventions on the global economy.
AAPSS President Kenneth Prewitt said, “Nobelist Bill Nordhaus is an easy choice” for the Moynihan Award. “Moynihan was an early and powerful voice on issues that the nation’s leaders were not yet taking seriously. After decades of warnings from natural scientists, the country needed a social science voice alerting us that climate change was coming after our society and economy. Nordhaus has been that early and powerful voice, bringing the climate alarm from the science section to the front page.”
Nordhaus studied at Yale University as an undergraduate and completed his PhD in Economics in 1967 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been a professor at Yale University since 1973. He has been a member of the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity since 1972, and from 1977 to 1979 he was an economic advisor to President Jimmy Carter’s administration.
“I am most honored to receive the Moynihan prize from the American Academy of Political and Social Science,” Nordhaus stated. “Pat Moynihan was the rarest of scholars, combining brilliant analysis, political engagement, and sheer bravery. He stands as a beacon in these dark times for those in the educational and public sphere who search for new truths while defending the best from the past.”
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