(CBS) – After being in the headlines for violence and corruption, Chicago makes international news for something positive.
For the first time in the history of the University of Chicago, the institution had two Nobel Prize winners named on the same day. A spokesman for U of C called it their Super Bowl. Professors Eugene Fama and Lars Hansen both won for economics.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports.
They packed the enormous lobby of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business: professors, students, staffers. The guests of honor received a thunderous ovation.
“I feel truly lucky today,” Hansen said.
In a nutshell, their winning research took a long-term view of what’s called asset prices.
Fama says he never would have guessed, as a young economist, he would one day win the vaunted prize.
“As a young economist, I thought, ‘How am I going to feed my family?’” he said, laughing.
Modest dreams, perhaps. But Hansen and Fama became intellectual heavyweights.
“Together, they’re work has helped the modern study of economics, has helped shape the modern study of economics,” U of C President Robert Zimmer said.
The University of Chicago is on the city’s South Side, which is so often the focus of bad news.
But students from around the world come to this campus drawn here by the likes of Eugene Fama and Lars Hansen.
Clare Delargy is from Ireland.
“I feel really privileged to be here and share in this prize — it’s fantastic,” she says.
Fantastic — and hard for Fama and Hansen to believe when they first got the call Monday morning from Stockholm.
“My immediate reaction? First, I wanted to make sure this was all real,” Hansen says.
Fama and Hansen shared the Nobel economics prize with Robert Shiller of Princeton. The U of C has been affiliated with nearly 90 Nobel laureates.