Roger Myerson has made fundamental contributions to the fields of economics and political science. In game theory, he introduced refinements of Nash’s equilibrium concept, and he developed techniques to characterize the effects of communication among rational agents who have different information. Myerson has also applied game-theoretic tools to political science, analyzing how political incentives can be affected by different electoral systems and constitutional structures. Myerson has a PhD from Harvard University and taught for 25 years in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University before coming to the University of Chicago in 2001. He is the author of books on game theory and probability modeling and has published numerous articles in professional journals. He has served as president of the Game Theory Society, president of the Econometric Society, and vice president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the American Philosophical Society. He was awarded the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in recognition of his contributions to mechanism design theory, which analyzes rules for coordinating economic agents efficiently when they have different information and difficulty trusting each other.

Research Interests

I was part of a generation of economic theorists who worked to bring game theory into economic analysis. My early work focused on general game-theoretic methodology, including refinements of the Nash equilibrium concept. I studied communication in games where individuals have different information, developing concepts of incentive-compatibility and the revelation principle. These methods can be used to characterize efficient coordination mechanisms subject to incentive constraints, which represent people's need for appropriate incentives to share private information or to exert hidden efforts. Applications of this work included the revenue equivalence theorem in auction theory, the basic theory of optimal auctions, and a deeper understanding of how costs of bargaining can be derived from bargainers' uncertainty about each other's values. In 1991, I published a general textbook on game theory. Since then, I have used game-theoretic analysis to study political systems, including strategic comparisons of electoral systems and of legislative structures. I have written recently on the complementary roles of resolve and restraint in strategic deterrence, on how the foundations of the state depend on political leaders solving central moral-hazard problems, and on the vital importance of local democracy in state-building.

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Primary Section

Section 54: Economic Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 53: Social and Political Sciences