|The 2020 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel|
|Date||12 October 2020|
|Presented by||Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences|
|Hosted by||Göran K. Hansson|
|Reward(s)||10 million SEK (2020)|
|2020 laureates||Paul Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson|
|Website||2020 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences|
The 2020 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded jointly to the American economists Paul Milgrom (b. 1948) and Robert B. Wilson (b. 1937) "for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats."According to the Nobel Committee, the recognition was given because "their theoretical discoveries have improved auctions in practice." Furthermore, Secretary Hansson said:
"This year's Laureates, Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, have studied how auctions work. They have also used their insights to design new auction formats for goods and services that are difficult to sell in a traditional way, such as radio frequencies. Their discoveries have benefitted sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world."
Their joint key contributions to economics were the development of the simultaneous multiple round auctions (SMRA) and the reputation effects (game theory). Milgrom's personal contributions were on the no-trade theorem, market design, supermodular games, monotone comparative statics, Linkage principle, and deferred-acceptance auction, whereas Wilson's contributions were on the common value auction and the Wilson doctrine.
Paul Milgrom was born in Detroit, Michigan, April 20, 1948,the second of four sons to Jewish parents. Milgrom graduated from the University of Michigan in 1970 with an AB in mathematics. He worked as an actuary for several years in San Francisco at the Metropolitan Insurance Company and then at the Nelson and Warren consultancy in Columbus, Ohio. Milgrom became a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in 1974. In 1975, Milgrom enrolled for graduate studies at Stanford University and earned an MS in statistics in 1978 and a PhD in business in 1979. He was the recipient of the 2008 Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics "for contributions dramatically expanding the understanding of the role of information and incentives in a variety of settings, including auctions, the theory of the firm, and oligopolistic markets"; the 2012 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award "for his seminal contributions to an unusually wide range of fields of economics including auctions, market design, contracts and incentives, industrial economics, economics of organizations, finance, and game theory"; the 2014 Golden Goose Award; and the 2018 John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science with Robert B Wilson and David M. Kreps.
Wilson was born on May 16, 1937, in Geneva, Nebraska. He graduated from Lincoln High School in Lincoln, Nebraska and earned a full scholarship to Harvard University. He received his A.B. from Harvard College in 1959. He then completed his M.B.A. in 1961 and his D.B.A.in 1963 from the Harvard Business School. He worked at the University of California, Los Angeles for a very brief time and then joined the faculty at Stanford University. He has been on the faculty of the Stanford Business School since 1964. He was also an affiliated faculty member of Harvard Law School from 1993 to 2001. He was the recipient of the 2014 Golden Goose Award for his work involving auction design; the 2015 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award "for his "pioneering contributions to the analysis of strategic interactions when economic agents have limited and different information about their environment"; and the 2018 John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science with David M. Kreps and Paul Milgrom.
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Auction theory is an applied branch of economics which deals with how bidders act in auction markets and researches how the features of auction markets incentivise predictable outcomes. Auction theory is a tool used to inform the design of real-world auctions. Sellers use auction theory to raise higher revenues while allowing buyers to procure at a lower cost. The conference of the price between the buyer and seller is an economic equilibrium. Auction theorists design rules for auctions to address issues which can lead to market failure. The design of these rulesets encourages optimal bidding strategies among a variety of informational settings. The 2020 Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.”
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Robert Butler Wilson, Jr. is an American economist and the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, Emeritus at Stanford University. He was jointly awarded the 2020 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, together with his Stanford colleague and former student Paul R. Milgrom, "for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats". Two more of his students, Alvin E. Roth and Bengt Holmström, are also Nobel Laureates in their own right.
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"This year's Laureates – David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens – have shown that natural experiments can be used to answer central questions for society, such as how minimum wages and immigration affect the labour market. They have also clarified exactly which conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn using this research approach. Together, they have revolutionised empirical research in the economic sciences."
The 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded jointly to the economist couple Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo-Banerjee and their colleague Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty." Banerjee and Duflo are the sixth married couple to jointly win a Nobel Prize. The pressed release of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences noted:
"The research conducted by this year's Laureates has considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty. In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research. They have laid the foundations of the best way to design measures that reduce global poverty"