Nobel 2020 Economics Prize

The 2020 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel has been conferred to Paul R Milgrom and Robert B Wilson.

Key Points:

The coveted Nobel Prize has been awarded to both “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.”

Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, have studied how auctions work. They have also used their perception to design new auction formats for goods and services that are difficult to sell in a traditional way, such as radio frequencies. Their discoveries help sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world.

New auction formats have been used for radio spectra, fishing quotas, aircraft landing slots and emissions allowances.

About Paul R Milgrom and Robert B Wilson:

Wilson was born in Nebraska and studied at Harvard University. He was the thesis adviser of his fellow winner. The 72-year-old Paul Milgrom was born in Detroit and earned his PhD in business at Stanford in 1978. Paul Milgrom and Wilson, along with Preston McAfee, are best known for the so-called simultaneous ascending auction, which was developed for the US Federal Communications Commission’s 1994 sale of spectrum.

About Nobel Prize in Economics:

The economics prize has been given to 84 individuals between 1969 and 2019. Only two women have been recipients to date.

The award comes as much of the world experiences the worst recession since World War II because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2019, Indian-American economist Abhijit Banerjee was among the three people who jointly won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Banerjee was awarded the prize along with his wife, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”