Utah native among Nobel Prize winners in economics

Published: Monday, Oct. 14 2013 3:35 p.m. MDT

Lars Hansen receives an honorary degree from Utah State University in 2012.

Utah State University

LOGAN — Cache Valley native and Utah State University alumnus Lars Hansen was named Monday as one of three Americans to win the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics.

According to the Associated Press, the three men — Hansen, Eugene Fama and Robert Shiller — were recognized for their individual research that collectively expands the understanding of asset price behavior.

Hansen and Fama teach at the University of Chicago, while Shiller teaches at Yale University.

Hansen is the son of Gaurth Hansen, a biochemist who also served as provost of Utah State. Lars Hansen received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from USU in 1974 and was awarded an honorary degree from the university last year.

He also received a Professional Achievement Award in 2009 from USU's Huntsman School of Business.

"First a foremost, our congratulations go to Lars,” USU President Stan Albrecht said in a prepared statement. “We are delighted he has received such a distinguished honor. Lars is a world-renowned researcher and scholar, obviously, but the USU community also gets to remember him as an exceptional undergraduate student who always was destined for success.”

James MacMahon, a Hansen family friend and dean of USU's College of Science, said he expected Hansen to receive the award last year and was not surprised when the announcement was made Monday morning.

"He’s a terrifically productive person, and he’s very approachable," MacMahon said. "He’s one of the guys who’s well-grounded in his life and is extremely bright."

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