Congratulations to Paul Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson

Paul Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson, both from Stanford University, are the winners of the 2020 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences "for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats." The Nobel Committee highlighted their "best known contribution" as designing new auction formats for complex situations such as their work designing the auction protocols for the US Federal Communications Commission.  Such simultaneous multi-round auctions have been used since the 1990s to determine how cellular frequencies are allocated among telecommunications companies. Milgrom also led the auction design team that designed the 2016-17 "Incentive Auction" to repurpose radio spectrum from broadcast television to wireless internet. The auction yielded $19.8 billion in revenue, including $10.05 billion for winning broadcast bidders and more than $7 billion to the U.S. Treasury. The project won the Edelman Prize in 2018 and it is a shining example for an emerging stream of research at the intersection of economics, operations research, and computer science. This research addresses fundamentally hard computational and game-theoretical problems in the design of market institutions. Paul Milgrom is a member of the board of the INFORMS Auctions and Market Design Section and he has been an ardent supporter from its start.