The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2007
Born: 21 August 1917, Moscow, Russia
Died: 24 June 2008, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Prize motivation: “for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory”
Prize share: 1/3
Leonid Hurwicz was born in Moscow. In 1919, he and his family relocated to Warzaw, his father’s hometown. Hurwicz graduated from Warsaw University in 1938 with a degree in law. Due to Hitler’s rise to power, Hurwicz moved around Europe before leaving for Chicago in 1940. In the 1960s he started working on the mechanism design theory, the groundbreaking work that earned him the Prize in Economic Sciences.
Leonid Hurwicz started working on mechanism design theory in the 1960s. The theory allows us to distinguish situations in which markets work well from those in which they do not. It has helped economists identify efficient trading mechanisms, regulation schemes and voting procedures.
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