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Swiss Nobel goes to Zurich economist

Ernst Fehr, a professor of microeconomics and head of the institute of empirical research in economics at Zurich University, has been awarded this year's Marcel Benoist prize.

This content was published on September 29, 2008 - 16:46

The prestigious award, sometimes referred to as Swiss Nobel Prize, worth SFr100,000 ($91,140), is destined to promote scientific research.

The interior ministry said Fehr's research helped to change the perception of man as an individual driven exclusive by economic interests.

His research found that people seek to punish others who act for purely selfish motives and encourage those who are willing to cooperate and show a sense for fairness.

Austrian-born Fehr, who is 52, has been working at Zurich University and the Federal Institute of Technology since 1994.

The award will be handed over at a public ceremony in Zurich on November 27.

Marcel Benoist, a French national, left most of his wealth to the Swiss Confederation to be used to fund an annual scientific award. The award committee is headed by the Swiss interior minister.

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