Concluding this year’s list of Nobel awards, the 2020 Svirges Riksbank Prize in Economics – with its enhanced  $1.1 million prize – has been bestowed upon Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson for their work in improving auction theory leading to the creation of new auction formats that can be used to sell goods and services – like, for example, access to radio frequencies – that can be difficult to sell in a traditional market.


The 2020 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel has been awarded to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.”#NobelPrize

— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 12, 2020

— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 12, 2020

Given that the economics award wasn’t one of the original Nobel prizes willed by Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, Twitter was abuzz with memes joking that the award wasn’t a “real Nobel”.

In case you are tempted on Monday.

— Alex Tabarrok (@ATabarrok) October 10, 2020

From my class notes:

— Scary Pumpkin Spice (@szarka) October 10, 2020

Notably, after two women shared the 2020 award for chemistry, this year’s award for economics was once again awarded to two white men, a fact that we’re sure websites like Quartz will elucidate in their coverage. 

Annual prizes for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, peace and literature were established in the will of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, who died in 1896. The prize in economic sciences was added by Sweden’s central bank in 1968.

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