William Vickrey


William Vickrey

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William Vickrey
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1996

Born: 21 June 1914, Victoria, BC, Canada

Died: 11 October 1996, Harrison, NY, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Prize motivation: “for their fundamental contributions to the economic theory of incentives under asymmetric information”

Prize share: 1/2


William Vickrey was born in 1914 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He received his B.S. from Yale University in 1935. He then began postgraduate studies at Columbia University, New York, where he received his master’s degree in 1937 and his Ph.D. in 1947. He has been affiliated with the faculty of Columbia University since 1946Vickrey passed away on October 11th, 1996, only three days after the announcement of his Economic Sciences Prize. He was married to Cecile Thompson.


William Vickrey was awarded the Economic Sciences Prize 1996, along with his co-recipient James A. Mirrllees fortheir fundamental contributions to the economic theory of incentives under asymmetric information. Vickrey was specialized in auction theory- the Vickrey auction is named after him. He has also made some important contributions in public economics, one example is his work on Harold Hotelling’s approach Georgist marginal cost pricing, which Vickrey extended.

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