Economics professor Dale Mortensen became the first sitting professor in Northwestern history to win a Nobel Prize. He’s the second Northwestern faculty member — and the first winner from the economics department — to win the award.
“I’m somewhat overwhelmed and of course gratified and highly honored that the work has received this recognition,” he told reporters Monday.
Mortensen shares the $1.5 million prize with Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Peter Diamond and London School of Economics’ Christopher Pissarides.
The threesome’s work addresses why unemployment remains high despite the emergence of new jobs following the recession.
Mortensen received the news before beginning a lecture in Denmark, where he is the Niels Bohr Visiting Professor at the University of Aarhus. He will return to Evanston later this week to celebrate with his wife, Northwestern religion professor Beverly Mortensen.
“He’s sort of humble about it, a little embarrassed, sort of excited,” she told WGN News.
The awards will be distributed in Stockholm on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s 1896 death.