3 Americans Share Nobel in Economics

Prize awarded for mechanism design theory
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2007 8:06 AM CDT
Handout picture made available by the Nobel award organizers of Americans Leonid Hurwicz, Eric S. Maskin and Roger B. Myerson who won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday Oct. 15,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Americans Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin, and Roger Myerson have won this year’s Nobel Prize in economics for developing "mechanism design theory,"  which indicates when markets are working effectively, Reuters reports. The theory can be used to assess the factors which make individuals and corporations deviate from the ideal market suggested by Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ metaphor, the prize committee noted.

Mechanism design helps governments predict the success of trading rules and other regulations under prevailing market conditions. "As time passed I didn't expect the recognition because people who were familiar with my work were slowly dying off," said Hurwicz, who at age 90 is the oldest Nobel recipient ever. The economics prize was added in 1968 to the original prizes endowed by Alfred Nobel. (Read more Nobel Prize stories.)