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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia-Born Economist Wins Nobel

STOCKHOLM -- Americans Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday for developing a theory that helps explain situations in which markets work and others in which they don't.

Hurwicz, 90, is the oldest Nobel winner ever, according to the academy. "I really didn't expect it," said the Moscow-born researcher, an economics professor at the University of Minnesota.

The three winners "laid the foundations of mechanism design theory," which plays a central role in contemporary economics and political science, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. Their research has helped explain mechanisms and decision-making procedures involved in economic transactions.

The three men, starting in 1960 with Hurwicz, studied how game theory can help determine the best, most efficient method for allocating resources given the available information, including the incentives of those involved.

Hurwicz said he was surprised to have won. "As time passed and nothing happened, I didn't expect the recognition would come because people who were familiar with my work were slowly dying off," he said.

Maskin, 56, is professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey; and Myerson, 56, is a professor at the University of Chicago in Illinois.