Schelling, Thomas Crombie

Schelling, Thomas Crombie, 1921–2016, American economist and political scientist, b. Oakland, Calif., Ph.D. Harvard, 1951. He worked in the federal government before teaching at Yale (1953–58), Harvard (1958–90), and the Univ. of Maryland (1990–2003; emeritus from 2003). Schelling employed game theory (see games, theory of) to understand military strategy, the nuclear arms race, and arms control, setting forth his insights in such works as The Strategy of Conflict (1960) and Arms and Influence (1966). He also studied the dynamics involved in racial segregation, formalizing the concept of the tipping point to explain white flight, and the danger of global climate change among other topics. In 2005 he shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Robert Aumann for enhancing the understanding of conflict and cooperation through their work on game theory.

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