Monday, October 10, 2016

MIT's Bengt Holmström And Harvard's Oliver Hart Just Won The 2016 Nobel Prize In Economics

Via Business Insider:

Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström just won the 2016 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.

They were given the prize for work on contract theory, which is the study of how contracts and incentives influence decision-making and business relationships.

The two economists provided "a comprehensive framework for analysing many diverse issues in contractual design, like performance-based pay for top executives, deductibles and co-pays in insurance, and the privatisation of public-sector activities".

Oliver Hart is currently the Andrew E. Furer Professor of Economics at Harvard University,where he has taught since 1993.

Bengt Holmström is the Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also was head of the Economics Department from 2003-2006.

"An eternal obstacle to human cooperation is that people have different interests", a paper on contract theory published by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. "In modern societies, conflicts of interests are often mitigated – if not completely resolved – by contractual arrangements".

The prize is given to an economist who has made a substantial contribution toward the subject, with an award of 10 million Swedish krona.

Unlike Nobel honors in other sciences and areas, the economics award is a collaboration between Sweden's central bank, called the Sveriges Riksbank, and the Nobel Foundation.

The prize has previously gone to such major names as Milton Friedman, Paul Krugman, and Friedrich von Hayek. Political scientists whose work has influenced economics as a discipline have also been honoured in the past.

Last year it went to Deaton was given the prize for his work on "consumption, poverty, and welfare".

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