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NOBEL PRIZE IN ECONOMIC GOES TO THE THEORY OF STABLE ALLOCATIONS

Who gets what? Which college should a student choose, or which multidisciplinary engineering company should a mining corporation hire for its projects? Well, Alvin Roth (Harvard University), expert in the innovative Market Design area, and Lloyd Shapley (University Of California) -regarded by many as the very personification of game theory, know how to match those agents as efficiently as possible and that is why they were awarded with The Nobel Prize in Ecomomic Science, as a fine example of economic engineering that has managed to improve our daily life. 

Both american scholars are recognized this year for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design, which concerns an important economic problem: how to match different agents the best way possible.

Shapley, born in 1923, elaborated some specific methods, such as the Gale-Shapley algorithm, that always managed to ensure a stable matching and showed how the design of a method may systematically benefit both sides of the market, while as Roth took these theoretical results and put them into the real world. In fact, he helped hospitals to find new doctors, schools to find the proper students and even organ donors to match with patients. 

The basic theory by Shapley and its practical design by Roth, have improved the overall performance of many markets around the world, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences commented after the decision. I’m sure that when I go to classes this morning, students will pay more attention", joked Roth on the phone. "I was interested on making things work better and using mathematic for that, for things where people are involved".

Date: 22-10-2012 - Reading: 4214