Roth, Alvin Elliot

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Alvin Elliot Roth, 1951–, American economist, b. New York City, Ph.D Stanford, 1974. He has been a professor in economics and business administration at the Univ. of Illinois (1974–82), the Univ. of Pittsburgh (1982–98), and Harvard (1998–2012); in 2013 he joined the faculty at Stanford. He was active early in his career in the developing field of experimental economics, testing economic theory against actual economic behavior and challenging some of the assumptions of economics, especially the idea that individuals made rational economic choices. He also has made contributions to game theory (see games, theory of) and, building on the theoretical work of Lloyd Shapley and David Gale, applied game theory to the development of market design, seeking to create efficient real-world markets for situations where money and price play little or no role. Roth has helped develop programs to place medical students in hospital residencies, to place students in public schools, and to facilitate kidney transplants when a recipient has a willing but nonmatching donor. Roth shared the 2012 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Shapley for their work on market design and matching theory.