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Eric S. Maskin

Eric S. Maskin is the Adams University Professor and Professor of Economics and Mathematics at Harvard University. He has made contributions to game theory, contract theory, social choice theory, political economy, and other areas of economics. He received his A.B. and Ph.D from Harvard and was a postdoctoral fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge University. He was a faculty member at MIT from 1977–1984, Harvard from 1985–2000, and the Institute for Advanced Study from 2000–2011. He rejoined the Harvard faculty in 2012. In 2007, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics (with L. Hurwicz and R. Myerson) for laying the foundations of mechanism design theory. Maskin works in many areas of economics, including game theory, social choice theory, political economy, the economies of intellectual property, and voting theory.

He was a designer of the British government’s carbon dioxide emissions auction. Maskin suggested that software patents inhibit progress, arguing that innovation in semiconductor, and computer industries has been sequential and complementary, so competition can increase firms’ future profits. Indeed, cross-licensing in the industry is common. He is a past president of the Econometric Society, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, corresponding fellow of the British Academy, and an honorary fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge. He has also served as editor of The Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economics Letters. He is married to Dr. Gayle E. Sawtelle, who is lecturer in history at Princeton University. They live in a house on Mercer Street that used to belong to Albert Einstein.