Nobel Foundation to Cut Awards by 20%

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A Nobel Prize isn’t worth as much as it used to be.

This year’s winners of the world’s most prestigious awards in everything from science to statesmanship will receive a smaller payout than recipients in years past — 8 million Swedish kronor (about $1.1 million), about 20% down from earlier awards.

The Nobel Foundation announced Monday that it would reduce the value of the prizes in an attempt to cut costs, noting that overhead expenses and award payouts in recent years have exceeded the average return on the foundation’s investments.

“The Nobel Foundation is responsible for ensuring that the prize sum can be maintained at a high level in the long term. We have made the assessment that it is important to implement necessary measures in good time,” said Lars Heikensten, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation.

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The Wall Street Journal reported that “the cut comes as organizers cope with economic instability, particularly in the equity markets where the Nobel Foundation has traditionally put a high concentration of its assets.” In addition to giving out smaller payouts, the foundation will also cut its budget for the annual banquet held in December, reported the Journal.

Nobel Prizes have been given out since 1901 for different fields, including literature and medicine, with the Peace Prize being the most prestigious; the Nobel Foundation administers the prizes and manages the award money, which was bequeathed by dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel.

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