Two American scholars have won the Nobel Peace Prize in Economics, after years of developing matching programs. Among other applications, the theories have been used to help match doctors to the right hospitals.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the research of Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley has resulted in a “flourishing field of research” and helped improve market performance in diverse fields. Their award is for $1.2 million.
Alvin Roth, 60, is a is a visiting professor at Stanford University on leave from Harvard Business School. His colleague Lloyd Shapley, 89, is a professor emeritus of mathematics at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). When interviewed by the Associated Press by telephone, Shapley mentioned he had “never, never” taken a course in economics. Both of these men have had long, very interesting lives and careers and I encourage you to read about them. Shapley, for instance, received a Bronze Star in 1943 received the Bronze Star decoration for breaking the Soviet weather code the same year he was drafted while attending Harvard as an undergrad.
Referring to “the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design,” the prize took on the problem of matching different variables in a market in situations where prices aren’t the deciding factor.
Two of the applications were in medicine. Roth used the theory in the 1990s and developed an algorith to allocate doctors in residents to hospitals. The algorithm was later adopted by the National Resident Matching Program.
The same formulas have been used to match available human organs to transplant patients, saving many lives, according to David Warsh, who publishes the blog Economic Principals.
Read more about these extraordinary scientists in MSN News.
Monique Bryher, MSPH
Physician Real Estate Specialist
Physician Relocation Specialist