Americans Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller have won the Nobel prize for economics for developing new methods to study trends in asset markets.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three had laid the foundation of the current understanding of the subject.
While it is hard to predict whether stock or bond prices will go up or down in the short term, it is possible to foresee movements over periods of three years or longer, the academy said.
"These findings, which might seem surprising and contradictory, were made and analysed by this year's laureates," it said.
Fama, 74, and Hansen, 60, are associated with the University of Chicago. Shiller, 67, is a professor at Yale University.
The Nobel committees have now announced all six of the annua awards for 2013.
The economics award is not a Nobel Prize in the same sense as the medicine, chemistry, physics, literature and peace prizes, which were created by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in 1895. Sweden's central bank added the economics prize in 1968 as a memorial to Nobel.