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Regulatory policy work wins Frenchman Tirole economics Nobel

French economist Jean Tirole won the 2014 Nobel Prize for economics for his work that has shed light on how governments should regulate powerful companies that dominate markets, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said on Monday.

“Jean Tirole is one of the most influential economists of our time,” the academy said. “Most of all he has clarified how to understand and regulate industries with a few powerful firms.”

The economist will receive an 8 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) prize.

Tirole’s research showed that market regulations should be carefully adapted to the conditions of specific industries, rather than general regulations such as price caps which can do more harm than good, the academy said.

“This year’s prize in economic sciences is about taming powerful firms,” Staffan Normark, Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, told a news conference.

The economics prize, officially called the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was established in 1968. It was not part of the original group of awards set out in 1895 will of Nobel, the inventor of dynamite.

Economists from the United States have dominated the prize with only a few winners coming from other parts of the world since 1994.

While economists are rarely household names, previous winners include well-known figures such as Paul Krugman, Milton Friedman, Friedrich August von Hayek and Joseph Stiglitz.

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