Sunday, 2 September 2018

James Mirrlees, 1936-2018

It seems we can't go a full year lately without losing a great (often Nobel laureate) economist. The latest was James Mirrlees, aged 82, winner of the Nobel prize in 1996. I know of his work on information asymmetries, especially moral hazard, which I teach in my ECONS102 class (ironically, it is the topic we are covering this coming week).

He is also well known for his work on optimal taxation, defining the balance between equity and efficiency. That work has been used to justify reducing marginal income tax rates in most developed countries over recent decades.

There are good obituaries noting his life and key contributions at The Sunday Times (gated), the Washington Post, and the New York Times, but for a more personal tribute, read this piece by John Kay.

[HT: Marginal Revolution, here and here]

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