American trio wins 2007 Nobel for economics
STOCKHOLM, Oct 17: A Russian-born academic who escaped both the communist
revolution and the horrors of World War II became the oldest person to win a
Nobel Prize on Monday, garnering a joint award for a pioneering market theory.
Leonid Hurwicz, 90, and fellow Americans Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson,
won the 2007 Nobel in economics for laying the foundations of a theory that
determines which market-based systems work best.
Hurwicz, who has taught at the University of Minnesota since 1951 after moving
to the US to escape World War II, said he had not expected to win.
the contrary, I thought that my time perhaps had passed already," the American
citizen said in a telephonic interview.
The Royal Swedish Academy of
Sciences said the award honoured the trio's work on "mechanism design theory,"
which assesses how well different institutions fare in allocating resources and
the need for government intervention.
The theory was the brainchild of
Hurwicz, who was born in Moscow the year of the Russian revolution. Maskin of
the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and Myerson of the University of
Chicago refined and tested his ideas. Maskin was born in 1950 and Myerson in
1951, the same year Hurwicz joined the faculty of Minnesota, a school less noted
than "Ivy League" institutions for innovative research. Maskin, who has an
applied mathematics doctorate from Harvard, said he was relieved to find all
three of them had won.
"I guess my first thought when I heard Hurwicz
was one of the winners was a sense of relief. Hurwicz has been a candidate for
many years and he's now 90 years old and time was running out," Maskin said in a
telephone conference with journalists. reuters