William Spencer Vickrey (June 21, 1914, Victoria, British Columbia - October 11, 1996, New York State) , US citizen in 1945, was a Columbia University professor, whose Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics was announced just three days before he died.
Vickrey was awarded the prize jointly with James Mirrlees for research into the economic theory of incentives under asymmetric information. An example of this is the situation where, for instance, the insured know more about their health than their insurer.
William Vickrey authored the seminal 1961 Journal of Finance paper, "Counterspeculation, auctions and competitive sealed tenders.", which was the first instance of an economist using the tools of game theory to understand auctions. In the paper, which has been described as being two decades ahead of its time, Vickrey not only derives several auction equilibria, but also provides an early revenue equivalence result. The revenue equivalence theorem remains the centrepiece of modern auction theory. The Vickrey auction is named after him.
He also did important work in congestion pricing, the idea that roads and other services should be priced so that users see the costs that arise from the service being fully used when there is still demand. Congestion pricing gives a signal to users to adjust their behaviour or to investors to expand the service in order to remove the constraint. His theory was later partially put into action in London.
He was in his economic thought inspired by John Maynard Keynes and a sharp critic of Chicago School (economics) and the political focus on balanced budgets and inflation in times with great repression and unemployment.
Among his prominent graduate students and proteges at Columbia were economists Lynn Turgeon and Harvey J. Levin
William Vickrey's vision.(Full Employment and Price Stability: The Macroeconomic Vision of William S. Vickrey)(Book review)
Oct 01, 2006; Full Employment and Price Stability: The Macroeconomic Vision of William S. Vickrey. Edited by Michael Forstater and Pavlina R....
Costly crutches. (film market in Japan, oil prices, death of Nobel Prize winner William Vickrey and state aid to former East Germany)(Business This Week)(Brief Article)
Oct 19, 1996; The thorny issue of state aid to former East Germany is likely to cause further controversy after the German government gave...