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'Auctions Are Everywhere': 2020 Economics Nobel Goes To 2 Americans

The Nobel Prize gold medal during manufacture at the Swedish Mint. Each laureate receives the medal, which has the likeness of Alfred Nobel on its face.
The Nobel Prize gold medal during manufacture at the Swedish Mint. Each laureate receives the medal, which has the likeness of Alfred Nobel on its face.

Stanford's Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson are honored for their "inventions of new auction formats." Auctions are now used to price Internet ads, wholesale electricity and fishing permits.

The 2020 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, both of Stanford University. The prize citation says Milgrom and Wilson were awarded the prize "for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats."

"Auctions are everywhere and affect our everyday lives." the prize committee said in a statement. Milgrom and Wilson's work "benefit[s] sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world."

The Prize in Economic Sciences was established in 1968 by the Sveriges Riksbank, Sweden's central bank, to mark its 300th anniversary. It was first awarded in 1969, joining the five original prizes established by Alfred Nobel in his 1895 will.

Like the winners in physics and chemistry, the laureates in economic sciences are selected by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. The prize brings with it a gold medal and a cash award which this year is 10 million Swedish krona ($1.12 million), which will be shared by Wilson and Milgrom.

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