The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2014
Born: 9 August 1953, Troyes, France
Affiliation at the time of the award: Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), Toulouse, France
Prize motivation: “for his analysis of market power and regulation”
Prize share: 1/1
Jean Tirole was born in Troyes in France. After having studied engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, he turned his interests to economics and mathematics. In 1981 he received his doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the US. He maintained his connections to MIT, in part as a professor of economics from 1984 to 1991. Since 1992 he has worked at the School of Economics at the University of Toulouse in France.
If markets dominated by a small number of companies are left unregulated, society often suffers negative consequences. Prices can become unjustifiably high and new companies can be prevented from entering the market. Since the mid-1980s, Jean Tirole has worked to develop a coherent theory, for example showing that regulation should be adapted to suit specific conditions in each industry. Based on game theory and other theories, Tirole has also suggested a framework for designing regulations and has applied it to a number of industries, from banking to telecommunications.