June 27, 2008

Nobel Laureate Economist Hurwicz Dies

Leonid Hurwicz, an emeritus professor at the University of Minnesota who shared the Nobel Prize in economics last year, has died. He was 90.

Hurwicz, who lived in Minneapolis, became ill about a week before his death Tuesday night, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

In 2007, Hurwicz became the oldest person ever to receive a Nobel Prize when he was honored for his work on the interactions among buyers, sellers and economic institutions. He shared the prize with Eric Maskin of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, N.J., and Roger Myerson of the University of Chicago, who had made advances on his work.

Hurwicz received his prize at a ceremony in Minneapolis because he was unable to travel to Stockholm, Sweden. He was known for his work in game theory.

Before Leo, people said, 'Let's just ask people to achieve outcomes, such as how much steel to produce or how many shoes to make,' Varadarajan V. Chari, a Minnesota professor, told the alumni magazine.

After he won the Nobel, Hurwicz told reporters he had thought he would never receive it because those familiar with his work were dying off.