Former ILLINOIS Business Professor Receives Nobel Prize in Economics

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced yesterday the awarding of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2012 to Alvin E. Roth, currently a visiting faculty member at Stanford University. Roth was a faculty member in the Departments of Business Administration and Economics at ILLINOIS from 1974 to 1982. He shares the award with Lloyd S. Shapley, a professor at the University of California, for their work on market design and matching theory.

According to the RSA press release, Shapley is credited witha theory that enables optimum matching between agents in a cooperativearrangement. A key issue for economists has been how to ensure that asystematic matching “is stable in the sense that two agents cannot be found whowould prefer each other over their current counterparts.” 

Roth is recognized for his work extending and applyingShapley’s results. Through his efforts, Roth “helped redesign existinginstitutions for matching new doctors with hospitals, students with schools,and organ donors with patients.”

Larry DeBrock, Josef and Margot Lakonishok Endowed Dean of the College of Business and a co-author of a 1981 research paper with Roth, expressed his congratulations upon receiving the news. “Al is a brilliant economist with an uncanny ability to form applicable insights from conceptual ideas. His work has had remarkable real world impact on important allocation problems. He was an  outstanding colleague during his years hear at the College of Business. Everyone on campus should be proud of his achievement.”

Poets & Quants tells a good story about Roth: