• Home
  • News

2020 Nobel Prize Firsts and Lectures

In this pandemic year, Paul Milgrom and Bob Wilson received their Nobel prize medals and diplomas in an abbreviated ceremony in Paul’s backyard on the morning of December 8. The discussion quickly turned to the sheer number of “firsts” associated with this Nobel prize in economics.

  1. It was the first economics prize to be awarded outdoors and the first outside of Stockholm.
  2. It was the first economics prize awarded to a student (Paul) with his disseration adviser (Bob).
  3. It was the first awarded jointly to two people living across the street from one another.
  4. Paul became the first to give TWO Nobel prize lectures, having already lectured on behalf of Vickrey in 1996.
  5. The backyard ceremony was held behind a residence that had housed two economics Nobel laureates (Paul Milgrom & Joe Stiglitz), plus 3-time SuperBowl winning coach Bill Walsh!

Also ununsual is that, by focusing on Paul’s auction research and inventions, the Nobel Committee had left unmentioned ten of Paul’s twelve most highly cited publications (including his top two), which study other areas of economics.

Paul’s and Bob’s Nobel lectures are available on YouTube here for Paul and here for Bob. The viral video recording of the moment Bob informed Paul of his prize is here.