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December 14 2019


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NEWS

Nobel Prizes For Americans
October 15, 2007

American economists, scientists and a former Vice President turned activist have all won Nobel Prizes in the last few days. Nobel laureates receive a prize of $1.5 million, a gold medal and a diploma, presented to them by the Swedish king on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death in 1896. The 90 year old American economist Leonid Hurwicz (pictured left), and his colleagues Eric S. Maskin and Roger B. Myerson have today been awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences. Their work, honored by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, helps explain how decisions are made in markets, particulalry how some situations work out well and others don't. Their Mechanism Design Theory answers questions crucial to modern business, like 'What trading mechanisms maximize the seller's revenue in a business deal? What decisions succeed in implementing desirable projects while denying funds for undesirable projects? What insurance schemes provide the best coverage without inviting misuse? Mechanism design theory shows why an auction is typically the most efficient way to allocate goods among potential buyers, and what sort of auction will give the largest expected revenue for the seller. Pretty useful stuff in the 'real' world. The theory was originated by Leonid Hurwicz, then refined and applied by Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson. Prof. Hurwicz is a US citizen. Born in 1917 in Moscow, Russia, he gained his LL.M in Warsaw, Poland and is now Regents Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Minnesota. New Yorker Maskin (below left) is the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, and is married with 2 children. Born in Boston, Roger Myerson (below right) has been Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, since 2007.



Last week the Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to Mario R. Capecchi and Oliver Smithies, both Americans, and Sir Martin J. Evans, a Briton, for important discoveries in genetics. And on Friday, former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change.

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