Mirrlees, Sir James Alexander

Mirrlees, Sir James Alexander, 1936–2018, Scottish economist, Ph.D. He taught at Cambridge (1963–69, 1995–2003), Oxford (1969–95), and Chinese University of Hong Kong (2002–18). Building on work done earlier by William Vickrey, Mirrlees is noted for his study of the problem of optimal income taxation and of moral hazard in situations in which full information is not available, in which he proved mathematically what had previously been hypothesized. He also has studied the effects of production and consumption taxes on an economy. In 1996 he and Vickrey shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for their contributions to the economic theory of incentives in situations where the decision-makers have incomplete information. He was knighted in 1998.

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