Nobel Prize-winning economist Leonid Hurwicz dies

June 27th, 2008 - 12:27 am ICT by IANS  

New York, June 26 (DPA) US economist Leonid Hurwicz, who won the Nobel Prize for his work on the decision-making process behind economic transactions, has died at the age of 90. Hurwicz, a professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, was the oldest person ever awarded the Nobel Prize when he was honoured last year along with US colleagues Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson for their work in the field of mechanism theory.

The university announced Hurwicz’s death Wednesday, but did not provide details about its cause.

Hurwicz was born in 1917 in Moscow and laid the basis for mechanism design theory, which deals with the design of economic institutions, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in naming him for the honour last year. The theory shows the need to take into account human motivations in achieving economic goals.

He fled Russia with his family as a young child, settling in Poland before coming to the US to escape Nazi persecution during World War II.

“Not only were his economic theories ground-breaking, but he was a renaissance scholar, with a keen interest in many disciplines, an incisive mind and quick wit and a natural grace that endeared him to so many people,” university president Robert Bruininks said in a statement.

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