Chicago Economist Roger Myerson One of Three to Win Nobel

I was delighted to wake up this morning and discover that I have yet another Nobel Laureate as a colleague.

Congratulations to Roger Myerson! (And also to Eric Maskin and Leo Hurwicz, who shared the prize.)

The prize was “for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory.” Mechanism design formalizes ways of thinking about how a social planner, manager, or parent can set up rules so that all parties involved have the incentives to act in the way that the planner/manager/parent prefers. This Nobel is not for the idea that you can design incentives this way, but rather for coming up with ingenious proofs that simplify the task of proving that, indeed, all parties have the right incentives — a task that can turn out to be awfully difficult.

In addition to being great economists (see my last post about what it means if you win the Nobel when you are young — both Maskin and Myerson are under 60 years old), they are both incredibly kind and generous people. In fact, they may challenge George Akerlof for the title of nicest people to win the Economics Nobel.

I don’t know Hurwicz personally. I’m embarrassed to say I don’t even know his research, for that matter. He must be at least 90 years old.

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

 

COMMENTS: 74

View All Comments »
  1. Felipe says:

    Dr. Levitt: do you think it would be possible for Celso Furtado, a Brazilian economist, to ever get the Nobel? Or developing world people are fated to get only Peace Nobel? Thanks!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  2. Felipe says:

    Dr. Levitt: do you think it would be possible for Celso Furtado, a Brazilian economist, to ever get the Nobel? Or developing world people are fated to get only Peace Nobel? Thanks!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. A E Pfeiffer says:

    Filipe, the Indian economist Amartya Sen won it in 1998. Doesn’t he count?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  4. A E Pfeiffer says:

    Filipe, the Indian economist Amartya Sen won it in 1998. Doesn’t he count?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  5. random human says:

    Too bad “thinking about how a social planner, manager, or parent can set up rules so that all parties involved have the incentives to act in the way that the planner/manager/parent prefers” via game theory still remains (and likely will remain for a long time) an abstract concept to most individuals/organizations.

    Love live innumeracy.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  6. random human says:

    Too bad “thinking about how a social planner, manager, or parent can set up rules so that all parties involved have the incentives to act in the way that the planner/manager/parent prefers” via game theory still remains (and likely will remain for a long time) an abstract concept to most individuals/organizations.

    Love live innumeracy.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  7. nemo says:

    Thanks for blogging on this. I attended Hurwicz’s class on Welfare Economics last year. He has been in numerous short lists for the award for a number of years. It’s great that he finally received it. Congratulations to Myerson and Maskin too.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  8. nemo says:

    Thanks for blogging on this. I attended Hurwicz’s class on Welfare Economics last year. He has been in numerous short lists for the award for a number of years. It’s great that he finally received it. Congratulations to Myerson and Maskin too.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0