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Detroit-born economist Paul Milgrom wins Nobel Prize in economic sciences

Detroit-born economist Paul Milgrom wins Nobel Prize in economic sciences

It was in the middle of the night and the Nobel Prize committee couldn’t reach their 2020 economic sciences winner, Detroit-born professor Paul R. Milgrom. 



a screenshot of a computer screen: Winners of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2020 at a press conference in Stockholm, Monday Oct. 12, 2020. Americans Paul R. Milgrom, left, and Robert B. Wilson have won the Nobel Prize in economics for "improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats."


© Anders Wiklund/TT via AP
Winners of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2020 at a press conference in Stockholm, Monday Oct. 12, 2020. Americans Paul R. Milgrom, left, and Robert B. Wilson have won the Nobel Prize in economics for “improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.”

Luckily, Milgrom’s co-winner is also his neighbor.

According to Stanford University, where the winning duo currently teaches, Robert B. Wilson trekked to Milgrom’s house in the middle of the night, knocking incessantly to tell him the good news. 

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You can watch that moment, and the Michigan-raised winner’s stunned reaction, below.

Milgrom was born in Detroit in 1948. He graduated Oak Park High School and went on to complete his bachelor’s degree in mathematics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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He and Wilson won for their improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats. According to the Nobel Prize, “(t)heir discoveries have benefitted sellers, buyers, and taxpayers around the world.”

So…what is auction theory? 

People are usually selling things to the highest bigger and buy from the cheapest offer. But the price of an auctioned object — whether it is an art or an antique — changes wildly from auction to auction, the Nobel Prize release explained. 

Milgrom and Wilson studied how auctions work, which is difficult because there are so much factors to take in, especially the bidder’s behavior. They focused on things that are a little harder to auction, like securities, minerals and energy. 

Wilson’s theory

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Nobel Prize in Economics awarded to Milgrom and Wilson for auction theory work – business live | Business

Nobel Prize in Economics awarded to Milgrom and Wilson for auction theory work – business live | Business

A Jobcentre Plus in London.

A Jobcentre Plus in London. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

Britain faces a surge in unemployment before Christmas, economists fear, as business struggle under lockdown restrictions and the government prepares new rules for areas where Covid-19 is the biggest threat.

The CEBR thinktank is warning this morning that at least 1.25 million more people are at risk of losing their jobs by Christmas, as it hikes its Christmas unemployment forecast.

With Covid-19 still battering the economy, more companies will be forced to lay staff off – particularly those who were furloughed since the lockdown.

As CEBR warns…


The job market outlook is negative for the coming months…

…the coming winter looks set to be a tough one.

That would push the jobless total towards three million – up from 1.4m this summer. It would drive the unemployment rate over 8% – for the first time in almost a decade.

UK unemployment rate

UK unemployment rate Photograph: ONS

The CEBR has calculated that 1.2m furloughed workers are at risk being laid off when the scheme expires at the end of the month, and that a further 300,000 are likely to be made redundant.

Worryingly, the CEBR doesn’t believe the government’s latest initiative — a new local furlough scheme for the hospitality industry announced on Friday afternoon — will make a major difference. It might save 250,000 jobs – or one-in-six of those at risk.

They explained:


The newly announced furlough scheme is well targeted to soften the blow for businesses in the hospitality sector which now seem most at risk from another shut down. However, from March/ April we know that there are a range of economic knock-on effects from lockdowns and not all businesses in need

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