SHASS alumnus Jean Tirole PhD'81 wins Nobel Prize in economic sciences
Alumnus, former faculty member, and current Visiting Professor has been awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in economic sciences for his work on the behavior and regulation of powerful firms.
Research by Tirole has highlighted the need for regulation to be tailored to individual industries, while creating a general framework for understanding the nuances of regulation across industries.
Story at MIT News
From Jean Tirole PhD '81's Nobel Banquet speech:
"The great economist John Maynard Keynes once wrote: 'If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid.'
"83 years and much research later, we would perhaps aspire to be compared with 'meteorologists' or 'doctors,' whose scientific accomplishments have been truly outstanding and yet have to face challenges that are rather down-to-earth. Our failure to foresee or prevent the financial crisis is a sore reminder of the dangers of hubris. True enough, we had worked on most of its ingredients. But like a virus that keeps mutating, new dangers emerged when we thought we had understood and avoided the existing ones.
The need to be humble applies also to the field that was rewarded by the Prize. Recognizing that industries are different from each other and evolve rapidly, researchers in industrial organization have patiently built a body of knowledge that has helped regulators to better understand market power and the effects of policy interventions, and helped firms to formulate their strategies. They have thereby contributed to making this world a better world, the economist's first mission."