Top Interviews: Paul R. Milgrom & Robert B. Wilson, Nobel Prize In Economics For 2020

“He was the advisor everybody recommended you should have,” says Paul Milgrom of Robert Wilson, his PhD supervisor and now near neighbour in Palo Alto and co-Laureate in Economic Sciences. In this conversation with Adam Smith, recorded 20 minutes after Milgrom had learned of his prize, he describes how it was Wilson who actually delivered the news, in person: “He and his wife just walked over and rang the doorbell.”

Not only are the 2020 Economics Science Laureates long-time collaborators, they are also neighbours in Palo Alto, and so when Robert Wilson heard the news of his prize from Stockholm, he simply crossed the street and knocked on Paul Milgrom’s door to wake him! “It sounds like something from the nineteenth century,” says Wilson in this conversation with Adam Smith, recorded shortly after the news became public. He describes his pride at the fact that Milgrom is the third of his students, after Alvin Roth and Bengt Holmström, to be awarded the prize, a perfect combination of events that he calls his “trifecta”.

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