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Robert B. Wilson
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Known for|| Game theory in industrial organization |
sequential quadratic programming
|Awards|| Golden Goose Award (2014) |
|Fields|| Economist |
|Institutions|| Stanford University (since 1964)|
Harvard Law School
|Doctoral advisor||Howard Raiffa|
|Doctoral students|| Claude d'Aspremont Lynden |
Bengt R. Holmström
Robert W. Rosenthal
Alvin E. Roth
Robert Butler "Bob" Wilson, Jr. (born May 16, 1937) is an American economist and the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, Emeritus at Stanford University. He is known for his contributions to management science and business economics. His doctoral thesis introduced sequential quadratic programming, which became a leading iterative method for nonlinear programming. With other mathematical economists at the Stanford Business School, he helped to reformulate the economics of industrial organization and organization theory using non-cooperative game theory. His research on nonlinear pricing has influenced policies for large firms, particularly in the energy industry, especially electricity.
Wilson was born on May 16, 1937 in Nebraska. He graduated from a high school in Nebraska and earned a full ride 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.
Wilson is known for research and teaching on market design, pricing, negotiation, and related topics concerning industrial organization and information economics. He is an expert on game theory and its applications. He has been a major contributor to auction designs and competitive bidding strategies in the oil, communication, and power industries, and to the design of innovative pricing schemes. His work on pricing of priority service for electric power has been implemented in the utility industry.
Wilson's paper “The Theory of the Syndicates,”JSTOR 1909607 which was published in Econometrica in 1968 influenced a whole generation of students from economics, finance, and accounting. The paper poses a fundamental question: Under what conditions does the expected utility representation describe the behavior of a group of individuals who choose lotteries and share risk in a Pareto-optimal way?
He has published about a hundred articles in professional journals and books since completing his education. He has been an associate editor of several journals, and delivered several public lectures.
On problems of pricing strategy, he has advised the United States Department of the Interior and oil companies on bidding for offshore leases; the Electric Power Research Institute on pricing of electric power, design of priority service systems, design of wholesale markets, funding of basic research, and risk analysis of environmental hazards and climate change; and the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center on pricing product lines in high technology industries. With Paul Milgrom he designed for Pacific Bell the auction of spectrum licenses adopted by the FCC, and subsequently worked on the bidding strategy team, and later for other firms. He also contributed to the designs of the power exchange and auctions of ancillary services in California, and he has continued to advise EPRI, the California Power Exchange, the California, New England, and Ontario System Operators, the Canadian Competition Bureau, Energy Ministries of several countries, and others involved in the design of auctions for electricity, power and gas transmission, and telecommunications in the United States and elsewhere. His designs of other auctions have been adopted by private firms. He has been an expert witness on antitrust and securities matters.
He also published the book on Nonlinear Pricing (Oxford Press, 1993).It is an encyclopedic analysis of tariff design and related topics for public utilities, including power, communications, and transport and the book won the 1995 Leo Melamed Prize, a prize awarded biannually by the University of Chicago for “outstanding scholarship by a business professor.” His contributions on game theory includes wage bargaining and strikes, and in legal contexts, settlement negotiations. He has authored some of the basic studies of reputational effects in predatory pricing, price wars, and other competitive battles.
Since Wilson completed the Bachelor, Master's, and Doctoral Degrees at Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, he has published about 100 articles in professional journals and books, for which he has received many honors.He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a designated ‘distinguished fellow’ of the American Economic Association, and a fellow, former officer and Council member of the Econometric Society. He was conferred an honorary Doctor of Economics degree in 1986 by the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. In 1995, he was conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Chicago. In 2014, Wilson won a Golden Goose Award for his work involving auction design.
He has won the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (2015) in the Economics, Finance and Management category for his “pioneering contributions to the analysis of strategic interactions when economic agents have limited and different information about their environment”. With colleagues David M. Kreps and Paul Milgrom, he was awarded the 2018 John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science.
Vernon Lomax Smith is an American economist and professor of business economics and law at Chapman University. He was formerly a professor of economics and law at George Mason University, and a board member of the Mercatus Center. He was also a founding board member of the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University.
Lloyd Stowell Shapley was an American mathematician and Nobel Prize-winning economist. He contributed to the fields of mathematical economics and especially game theory. Shapley is generally considered one of the most important contributors to the development of game theory since the work of von Neumann and Morgenstern. With Alvin E. Roth, Shapley won the 2012 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design."
Paul Robert Milgrom is an American economist. He is the Shirley and Leonard Ely Professor of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, a position he has held since 1987. Milgrom is an expert in game theory, specifically auction theory and pricing strategies. He is the co-creator of the no-trade theorem with Nancy Stokey. He is the co-founder of several companies, the most recent of which, Auctionomics, provides software and services that create efficient markets for complex commercial auctions and exchanges.
Robert J. Weber is the Frederic E. Nemmers Distinguished Professor of Decision Sciences at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.
David Marc "Dave" Kreps is a game theorist and economist and professor at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He is known for his analysis of dynamic choice models and non-cooperative game theory, particularly the idea of sequential equilibrium, which he developed with Stanford Business School colleague Robert B. Wilson.
Auction theory is an applied branch of economics which deals with how people act in auction markets and researches the properties of auction markets. There are many possible designs for an auction and typical issues studied by auction theorists include the efficiency of a given auction design, optimal and equilibrium bidding strategies, and revenue comparison. Auction theory is also used as a tool to inform the design of real-world auctions; most notably auctions for the privatization of public-sector companies or the sale of licenses for use of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Bengt Robert Holmström is a Finnish economist who is currently Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Together with Oliver Hart, he received the Central Bank of Sweden Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2016.
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Roger Bruce Myerson is an American economist and professor at the University of Chicago. He holds the title of the David L. Pearson Distinguished Service Professor of Global Conflict Studies at The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts in the Harris School of Public Policy, the Griffin Department of Economics, and the College. Previously, he held the title The Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor of Economics. In 2007, he was the winner of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel with Leonid Hurwicz and Eric Maskin for "having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory." He was elected a Member of the American Philosophical Society in 2019.
Donald John Roberts is a Canadian-American economist, and John H. and Irene S. Scully Professor of Economics, Strategic Management and International Business at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Artyom Shneyerov is a microeconomist working at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is also an associate editor of the International Journal of Industrial Organization. His current research is in the fields of game theory, industrial organization and applied econometrics. His contributions to these and other areas of economics include the following:
Alvin Elliot Roth is an American academic. He is the Craig and Susan McCaw professor of economics at Stanford University and the Gund professor of economics and business administration emeritus at Harvard University. He was President of the American Economics Association in 2017.
Chi-fu Huang is a private investor, a retired hedge fund manager, and a former finance academic. He has made contributions to the theory of financial economics, writing on dynamic general equilibrium theory, intertemporal utility theory, and the theory of individual consumption and portfolio decisions. He is a Managing Member of CMASH, LLC, a member of the Management Committee of Starling Ventures, LLC, a Board Member of DeepMacro, LLC and an owner of ConvexityWines.com. He serves on Corporate Development Committee and Advisory Board of Dean of School of Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Jeffrey Pfeffer is an American business theorist and the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, and is considered one of today's most influential management thinkers.
Robert W. Rosenthal was an American economist, most known for his contributions to game theory.
In game theory, decision-makers deduce strategies for how to behave within the constraints of a game. Market design is the flip side of that coin: given a set of agents, market design seeks to identify the game rules a market designer might implement that would produce the desired behaviors in the players. In some markets, prices may be used to induce the desired outcomes—these markets are the study of auction theory. In other markets, prices may not be used—these markets are the study of matching theory.
The Nancy L. Schwartz Memorial Lecture is a series of public lectures held every year by the Kellogg Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences.
Ilya R. Segal is an economist who is currently Roy and Betty Anderson Professor in the Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Economics at Stanford University.
Peter Cramton is an American economist and academic. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland, Emeritus since 2018, and holds the Market Design Chair in Economics at the University of Cologne.