U.S. economists Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley won the 2012 economics Nobel prize on Monday for research on how to match different economic agents such as students for schools or even organ donors with patients.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which made the award, said the 8 million crown ($1.2 million) prize recognised ``the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design''.

The economics prize, officially called the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was established in 1968. It was not part of the original group of awards set out in dynamite tycoon Nobel's 1895 will.

(Reporting by Patrick Lannin and Niklas Pollard.)