EVANSTON, Illinois (ABC) -- Dale Mortenson has been on the faculty of Northwestern University since 1965. Monday, 45 years later, the Royal Swedish Academy sent Mortensen an e-mail he wanted, but wasn't exactly expecting. They were awarding him, and two colleagues, the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
Mortenson will share the prize, as well as the $1.5 million award, with Peter Diamong of MIT and Christopher Pissarides of the London School of Economics.
The professors' research has taken decades, and has caused some controversy. It's an effort to explain supply-and-demand in the labor market. Specifically, it aims to explain how there can be both high unemployment and a large number of job listings at the same time.
"It was a new perspective, and there were people who took a while to get their heads around that idea," Mortenson said.
Another Big Ten university professor, Eleanor Ostrom of Indiana University, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences last year.