Paul Milgrom is the Shirley and Leonard Ely professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Economics at Stanford University and professor, by courtesy, at both the Department of Management Science and Engineering and the Graduate School of Business. He is also chairman and co-founder of Auctionomics, which designs and assists bidders in high-stakes auctions.
In 2020, Milgrom was co-recipient, with Robert Wilson, of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Honor of Alfred Nobel “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.” According to the prize committee: “The new auction formats are a beautiful example of how basic research can subsequently generate inventions that benefit society. The unusual feature of this example is that the same people developed the theory and the practical applications. The Laureates’ ground-breaking research about auctions has thus been of great benefit, for buyers, sellers and society as a whole.”
Earlier in the same year, he was also named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association. According to the Distinguished Fellow citation, Milgrom “is the world’s leading auction designer, having helped design many of the auctions for radio spectrum conducted around the world in the last thirty years, including those conducted by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (ranging from the original simultaneous multiple round auction with activity rules, to the recent incentive auction for repurposing broadcast spectrum for modern uses). His applied work in auction design and consulting has established new ways for economists to interact with the wider world. He is also a theorist of extraordinary breadth, who has provided (and still continues to provide) foundational insights not only into the theory of auctions (including his 1982 paper with Weber), but across the range of modern microeconomic theory.”
Continuing, the citation notes that “His work has been widely recognized. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received major prizes, including the 2008 Nemmers Prize, the 2012 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award, the 2014 Golden Goose Award (with McAfee and Wilson), the 2018 CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications, and the 2018 John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science (with Kreps and Wilson). He is the dissertation advisor of many successful economists.”