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Allais, Maurice Félix Charles

Maurice Félix Charles Allais (môrēs´ shärl älĕ´), 1911–2010, French economist, Ph.D. Univ. of Paris, 1949. After working in the French mine administration, he joined the École National Superieure des Mines in Paris (1944–80) and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientific (1946–80), where he developed his economic theories of how large, state-owned monopolies function. He also is known for what has come to be called the Allais paradox, which is that the expected utility theory, which predicts the choices a person will make when uncertainty is involved, failed to predict actual reasonable behavior. His principal works were À la recherche d'une discipline économique [in quest of an economic discipline] (2 vol., 1943) and Économie et intérêt [economy and interest] (1947). He was named an officer of the Legion of Honor in 1977, and in 1988 he received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his earlier work on resource allocation and pricing in monopolistic enterprises. Though he retired in 1980, he continued his affiliation with the École and the research center.

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