Douglass North, who died on November 23, 1995, was one of the great economists of modern times. Despite being a careful empirical research, Doug was impatient with what he considered to be the excessive reliance of many economists on formal mathematical models. I was honored to be Doug's collaborator on a joint paper with Barry Weingast, which used formal formal modeling to study the institutions that supported trade before the emergence of states that could enforce contracts.
On November 18, 2014, Paul Milgrom delivered the Arrow Lecture at Columbia University in honor of Columbia’s most famous graduate: Kenneth Arrow. A book series in Arrow’s honor was also launched, with books written by some of the greatest economic theorists of the modern era. All in the room acknowledged their intellectual debts to Kenneth Arrow, whose foundational contributions to social choice theory, general equilibrium theory, health economics, and the economics of innovation, to name just a few, have forever changed the form of economic analysis.
On September 18, economists Preston McAfee, Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson received the Golden Goose Award in a ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The award is given annually to federally funded researchers whose “seemingly obscure studies have led to major breakthroughs and resulted in significant societal impact.” A video describing the trio’s work, along with that of the biologists and the physicist who were similarly honored, can be viewed on Vimeo or below.