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William Vickrey

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William Vickrey
Born(1914-06-21)21 June 1914
Died11 October 1996(1996-10-11) (aged 82)
InstitutionColumbia University
FieldPublic economics
School or
Post Keynesian economics
Alma materColumbia University
Yale University
Carl Shoup
Robert M. Haig
David Colander
Jacques Drèze
InfluencesHenry George
Harold Hotelling
John Maynard Keynes
ContributionsVickrey auction
Revenue equivalence theorem
Congestion pricing
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

William Spencer Vickrey (21 June 1914 – 11 October 1996) was a Canadian-American professor of economics. In 1996, he won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with James Mirrlees, They won the award for their research into the economic theory of incentives under asymmetric information. Vickrey is the only person born in British Columbia to win a Nobel prize.[source?].

The announcement of his Nobel Prize was made just three days before he died. Vickrey died during his journey to a conference of Georgist academics that he helped found. He had never missed one of these conferences in 20 years.[1][2] His Nobel award was accepted by C. Lowell Harriss. Harriss worked with Vickrey at the Columbia University economics department. A Nobel Prize has only been awarded after the deaath of a person three other times.

Early years[change | change source]

Vickrey was born in Victoria, British Columbia. He attended high school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Vickrey got his BS in Mathematics at Yale University in 1935. He got his MA in 1937. He also did Ph.D. in 1948 at Columbia University. He remained at Columbia for most of his career.

Personal life[change | change source]

Vickrey married Cecile Thompson in 1951. He was a Quaker. He is also a member of Scarsdale Friends Meeting.[3] He died in Harrison, New York in 1996 from heart failure.

Selected works[change | change source]

  • "Counterspeculation, Auctions, and Competitive Sealed Tenders", Journal of Finance, 1961. The paper originated auction theory, a subfield of game theory.
  • "Fifteen Fatal Fallacies of Financial Fundamentalism: A Disquisition on Demand Side Economics". October 5, 1996.
  • Arrow, Kenneth Joseph; Arnott, Richard J.; Atkinson, Anthony A.; Drèze, Jacques, eds. (1997). Public Economics: Selected Papers by William Vickrey. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-59763-0.
  • Warner, Aaron W.; Forstater, Mathew; Rosen, Sumner M., eds. (2000). Commitment to Full Employment: The Economics and Social Policy of William S. Vickrey. Armonk, N.Y: M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-0633-4.
  • Pavlina R. Tcherneva (2004). Full Employment and Price Stability: The Macroeconomic Vision of William S. Vickrey. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84376-409-0.

References[change | change source]

  1. Netzer, Dick (November 1996). "Remembering William Vickrey". Land Lines. 8 (6). Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  2. Gaffney, Mason. "Warm Memories of Bill Vickrey". Land & Liberty. Archived from the original on 16 November 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  3. William Vickrey - Biographical

Further reading[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

Preceded by
Robert E. Lucas Jr.
Laureate of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics
Served alongside: James A. Mirrlees
Succeeded by
Robert C. Merton
Myron S. Scholes