Leo Hurwicz

Black and white photo of Leo Hurwicz wearing a medal on a ribbon around his neck

Leonid Hurwicz, who came to Minnesota in 1951, won the 2007 Nobel Prize in economics for developing the theory of mechanism design, described as “the art of producing institutions that align individual incentives with overall social goals.”

Mechanism design is fundamental to solving political/economic dilemmas ranging from climate change to timber auctions to organ-donor matching. It lies at the heart of current path-breaking initiatives, such as establishing global markets for carbon emission permits. Hurwicz's profound contributions to economic science are only beginning to be appreciated.