AirTalk for October 15, 2012

UCLA's Lloyd Shapley is a match for the Nobel economics prize

Nobel Economics

Reed Saxon/AP

Shortly after being awakened and learning the news, Lloyd Shapley, one of two Americans who were awarded the Nobel economics prize, talks to a reporter from his home in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Shapley, 89, and Alvin Roth were awarded the Nobel economics prize on Monday, for studies on the match-making that takes place when doctors are coupled up with hospitals, students with schools and human organs with transplant recipients. The work of Roth and Shapley has sparked a flourishing field of research and helped improve the performance of many markets, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. Shapley is a professor emeritus at University of California Los Angeles.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that Lloyd Shapley’s work has sparked a “flourishing field of research” and has awarded him this year's Nobel economics prize.

Shapley, 89, is a professor emeritus at UCLA and has been at the university since 1981. He is being rewarded for his work in matching theory and its practical applications in markets, for example, how job seekers are matched with employers or how patients find donors of human organs.

"For example, students have to be matched with schools, and donors of human organs with patients in need of a transplant," the academy said. "How can such matching be accomplished as efficiently as possible? What methods are beneficial to what groups?"

Shapley used game theory to research different matching systems and to answer how one method may systematically benefit one agent or another in markets. Though it is not technically a Nobel Prize because it wasn’t established in the will of Alfred Nobel, winners are awarded 8 million Swedish kronor, or about $1.2 million. Alvin Roth, a Stanford University professor was also awarded in this catagory.

Guest:

Matt DeBord, KPCC Reporter; writes the DeBord Report KPCC.org


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