STOCKHOLM, Sweden — An economist with a degree from Indiana University is one of three men to be named the winners of the Nobel Prize in economics this year.

Professors Philip Dybvig and Doug Diamond, along with former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, were named the winners of the award for their research on banks and financial crises.

Dybvig graduated from IU in 1976 with a double major in math and physics, before receiving a doctorate in economics from Yale University. Today, he is a professor of Banking and Finance at Washington University’s Olin School of Business in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Nobel panel said that the findings of the three in the early 1980s laid the foundations for regulating financial markets and dealing with financial crises.

According to the press release announcing them as winners, their work “significantly improved our understanding of the role of banks in the economy, particularly during financial crises. An important finding in their research is why avoiding bank collapses is vital.”

However, when it came to being notified about the prestigious acclaim, Dybvig actually missed the call Monday morning.

In an interview with KTVI in St. Louis Tuesday, Dybvig said when he went to bed Sunday night, he put his phone on the “Do Not Disturb” setting. He then woke up Monday morning too, in his words, “a gazillion messages” on his phone.

“Somebody had said a couple days before that this is the day (of the Nobel Prize announcements), so I’m going, ‘Did I get a Nobel Prize?’” he said. “And my initial thought was it’s more likely is that I got some prank calls.”

He then went online to check who won the Nobel Prize winners on the organization’s website. That’s when he found out he won thanks to his work with Diamond.

In 1983, Dybvig and Diamond penned “Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity,” and introduced a model of explaining the instability of banks with “long-maturity assets and short-maturity liabilities.”

Their paper showed that banks play a crucial role in resolving a nettlesome financial problem: Savers want instant access to their money, but businesses need time to see their ventures generate profits before they can repay loans in full. And explored the banks’ key role as intermediaries between savers and borrowers.

Bernanke’s addition was also thanks to a paper he published in 1983, which explored the role of bank failures in deepening and lengthening the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The panel said he showed how bank runs were a decisive factor in the crisis becoming so deep and prolonged. When the banks collapsed, valuable information about borrowers was lost and could not be recreated quickly. Society’s ability to channel savings to productive investments was thus severely diminished.

The economics award capped a week of Nobel Prize announcements in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace. They carry a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (nearly $900,000) and will be handed out Dec. 10.

Unlike the other prizes, the economics award wasn’t established in Alfred Nobel’s will of 1895 but by the Swedish central bank in his memory. The first winner was selected in 1969.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.