With the recent news that my youngest brother will be receiving a Nobel Prize in economics has come a great deal of press coverage. The following is from economicprincipals.com:
Lars Peter Hansen, 61, of the University of Chicago economics department, is as self-effacing as the other two laureates are bold. An intense but personable econometrician, Hansen was cited for having developed the generalized method of moments, a means of estimating parameters of the statistical models with which asset pricing theories are tested. And while Hansen is all but invisible compared to his fellow laureates, he is the one who, since 1999, has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
The following is an article by Jeff Sommer in the New York Times (18 Nov 2013):
[Lars’ early perspective] was formed, in part, at the University of Minnesota in the 1970s with the help of two economists there. They were Thomas J. Sargent, now at New York University, and Christopher A. Sims, now at Princeton–the recipients of the Nobel two years ago.
The committee that awarded the Nobel to Professors Sargent and Sims also cited Professor Hansen’s contributions, and he continues to collaborate with Professor Sargent. In a symposium on the current prizes held this month at the University of Chicago, James J. Heckman, also a Nobel laureate, said that this year’s Nobel was, in a sense, “Lars’ second Nobel prize.”
The Nobel committee recognized Professor Hansen this year for developing a statistical technique, the generalized methods of moments. [Professor Hansen] described it as “a method that allows you to do something without having to do everything.” For example, it’s still impossible to come up with a complete and entirely coherent model of either the overall economy or financial markets, to say nothing of combining the two. But his methods help make it possible to study some of the elements and connections in a statistically valid way. “The idea is to make progress,” he said, “even if you can’t do it all now.” And his approach is in wide use in other areas of social science.