written by Ursula Moffitt
At just after 1pm CET today, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2014 was awarded to Jean Marcel Tirole of Toulouse, France. This prize, more commonly known as the Nobel Prize in Economics, was given to Dr. Tirole for his extensive work on the behavior of large companies in relation to market power and regulation.
This marks the first time in over 30 years that the prize has been given to someone focusing on regulation. This topic has become increasingly relevant since the global financial crises began six years ago, and the timing of this award underscores its continued importance. Dr. Tirole’s research focuses specifically on dense mathematical models that describe and analyze markets, attempting to parse out ways to control the monopolies held by major companies. According to the Guardian, Dr. Tirole said he was grateful for the award for his work on “taming powerful firms”.
Dr. Tirole has a broad base of expertise, however, including topics in game theory, banking, finance and psychology. He is chairman of the board of the Jean-Jacques Laffont Foundation at the Toulouse School of Economics, a founding member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST) and scientific director of the Industrial Economics Institute (IDEI) in Toulouse. He received his PhD in economics from MIT in 1981 before returning to France to take up his first research position at CERAS, École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. Since then, Dr. Tirole has worked as a professor and researcher in numerous institutions in the United States and France, including as an economics advisor to the Prime Minister from 1999 – 2006.
If you’re interested in reading about last year’s winner, take a look at this blog post on the 2013 Nobel Prize recipients and their work.