STOCKHOLM (AP) – Two American scholars won the Nobel economics prize Monday for work on match-making – how to pair doctors with hospitals, students with schools, kidneys with transplant recipients and even men with women in marriage.
Lloyd Shapley of UCLA and Alvin Roth, a Harvard University professor currently visiting at Stanford University, found ways to make markets work when traditional economic tools fail.
Shapley, 89, came up with the formulas to match supply and demand in markets where prices don’t do the job; the 60-year-old Roth put Shapley’s math to work in the real world.
Unlike some recent Nobel prizes – such as the Peace Prize that went to the embattled European Union last week – this year’s economics award did not seem to send a political message.
“It’s all about down-to-earth, highly useful stuff,” said Robert Aumann, a professor at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University who won the 2005 economics Nobel.