Hurwicz, Leonid

Hurwicz, Leonid hûr´wĭch [key], 1917–2008, Polish-American economist and statistician, b. Russia., grad. Univ. of Warsaw, 1938. Educated in the law, he subsequently studied economics in London, Geneva, and, after immigrating (1940) to the United States, Chicago and worked as an economics research assistant, but did not obtain a degree in the field. He spent most of his academic career at the Univ. of Minnesota (1951–1988, emeritus after 1988). Hurwicz was a pioneer in the development of mechanism design theory, a branch of game theory (see games, theory of) that examines what rules provide the incentives that produce the most desirable result and so enables economists and other social scientists to explain how individuals, institutions, and markets interact. For his work on mechanism design, Hurwicz shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson in 2007.

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