Three economists from the United States were awarded the Nobel Prize for economics on Monday for their research on banks and financial crises.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which presents the Nobel Prize for economics every year, said that the economists Ben S Bernanke, Douglas W Diamond, and Philip H Dybvig significantly improved the understanding of the role of banks in the economy, particularly during financial crises.

“Their discoveries improved how society deals with financial crises,” the academy said. “An important finding in their research is why avoiding bank collapses is vital.”

This was the last Nobel Prize to be awarded this year. The Nobel Prize winners for peace, literature, medicine, chemistry and physics were announced last week.

Last year, one-half of the award was presented to David Card of the University of California at Berkeley, while the other half was shared by Joshua Angrist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Guido Imbens from Stanford University.

The three were given the award for their research about the use of “natural experiments” on the impact of minimum wage, immigration and education on the labour market.