Commentary: Get Real And Win A Nobel Prize

Economists are rarely lauded for being useful. Yet in large part that is why the 1997 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science was given to Robert C. Merton of the Harvard business school and Myron S. Scholes, a professor emeritus at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Their method, developed with the late Fischer Black, for measuring the value of a stock option--which allows an investor to buy or sell a stock at a fixed price--was a theoretical tour de force, solving a problem which had puzzled analysts for decades.

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