Posts Tagged ‘Economics Nobel 2007’

Nobel 2007: Economics

October 24, 2007

Arijit Sen in the Telegraph:

When one delves into the mechanism design literature, one is dazzled by the plethora of situations to which the theory has been applied. Maskin and Myerson, along with their co-authors, have explored issues of auction design, pollution control, public utility regulation, privatization, voting rules, and electoral systems. On reflection, this is not surprising as the logic of mechanism design is germane to any context where the central issue is to device the rules of the game for a group of strategic participants — be it the authority structure within an organization, the legal system in a country, or a customs union among a group of countries.

Consequently, the theory enables us to view a large number of economic and political institutions as mechanisms that aim to generate a set of socially desirable outcomes. This has been Leo Hurwicz’s consistent vision over the course of his research. One of his recent papers addresses the issue of how to prevent the “implementers” of various societal mechanisms — the politicians, the bureaucrats, and the police — from exploiting the participants. For the citizens of India today, the theme of the paper — and its title — But Who will Guard the Guardians? — should find a deep resonance.

Take a look!

Economist on Economics Nobel 2007

October 19, 2007

On Steve Levitt’s recommendation at the Freakonomics blog, I checked out the article on this year’s Economics Nobel at the Economist called Intelligent Design (?).

The first paragraph put me off a bit:

“WHAT on earth is mechanism design?” was the typical reaction to this year’s Nobel prize in economics, announced on October 15th. In this era of “Freakonomics”, in which everyone is discovering their inner economist, economics has become unexpectedly sexy. So what possessed the Nobel committee to honour a subject that sounds so thoroughly dismal? Why didn’t they follow the lead of the peace-prize judges, who know not to let technicalities about being true to the meaning of the award get in the way of good headlines?

Why that cheap shot at the Peace Nobel? And, is the reference to this year’s peace prize, or, to the peace prize in general?

There are a couple of more such unseemly sentences in the rest of the article too:

… a statistical condition called “Maskin monotonicity”, which might not be the sort of thing to mention at parties.

… Yet, despite the importance of the topic, The Economist suspects there are no plans for “Mechanism Design—The Movie”.

Ok! Is it just me, or others are also getting a feeling that somebody at the Economist is not too happy with the ignorance among the public about the importance of mechanism design?

Apart from that, it is readable.

Nobel Prize in Economics 2007

October 15, 2007

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2007 (yeah, that is what they call it, apparently) has been awarded to Leonid Hurwicz, Eric S Maskin, and Roger B Myerson

for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory.

More commentaries on the people and the prize is available at Marginal revolution: here, here, here, here, and here; Henry at Crooked Timber and Steven D Levitt at Freakonomics give their comments too. More goodies are expected in the next few days; keep tuned.

Update: Couple of posts from Mark Thoma who also keeps them updated to include the latest summaries, commentaries, and/or information.