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Divions of Labor & Transaction Costs Advisory Board Member is Honored by Nobel Foundation

World Scientific Editorial Board Member Eric Maskins is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics 2007, together with Leonid Hurwicz and Roger Myerson. The trio were honored for "having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory".

Professor Maskins sits on the advisory board of the Division of Labor & Transaction Costs (DLTC). Born in 1950, Professor Maskins spent many years at Harvard University where he studied Mathematics as an undergraduate. He subsequently received his Masters and PhD in Applied Mathematics from Harvard. He has held numerous academic appointments at prestigious universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge University, and Harvard. As of 2000, Professor Maskins has been the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University.

In a brief interview with Adam Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Nobelprize.org, Professor Maskins explains that the study of institutions implementing collective decision making systems, which he actively researches in, has been, in recent years, seen in auctions for decentralization. "In various countries around the world, assets that had previously been in the hands of governments were sold off to the private sector in the hope that this would lead to a more efficient allocation, that these assets would be put to better use. And the way that they were sold off was via auctions, in the hope that the auction mechanism would help promote a better application. So auctions are a particular example of a mechanism that has been used very effectively."

Asked if there was still unexplored terrority in this subject area, he replies "... this is a vast subject which has only begun to be explored. Leo Hurwicz, the founder of the subject, started work on this, well, close to 50 years ago. And it remains a field which is extremely active. Mechanism design is one of the most active areas in economic theory still, and should continue to be."

World Scientific is proud to have Professor Maskins on the board of DLTC and congratulates him on this crowning achievement.

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Updated on 10 July 2012