Americans Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims have won the Nobel economics prize "for their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy".
The prize committee said they winners had developed methods for answering questions such as how economic growth and inflation are affected by a temporary increase in the interest rate or a tax cut. Sargent and Sims - both 68 - carried out their research independently in the 1970s and '80s.
"Today, the methods developed by Sargent and Sims are essential tools in macroeconomic analysis," the citation said.
Sargent is a professor at New York University, and Sims is a professor at Princeton University.
The economics prize capped this year's Nobel announcements. The awards will be handed out on December 10 - the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel's death.
The economics prize is not among the original awards established in Nobel's 1895 will, but was created in 1968 by the Swedish central bank in his memory.