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Eric Maskin

Professor of Economics, Harvard University
Chapter Member: Boston SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Eric

Maskin is the Adams University Professor and Professor of Economics and Mathematics at Harvard. Maskin has made contributions to game theory, contract theory, social choice theory, political economy, and other areas of economics. Maskin received his A.B. and Ph.D from Harvard and was a postdoctoral fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge University. Maskin was a faculty member at MIT from 1977-1984, Harvard from 1985-2000, and the Institute for Advanced Study from 2000-2011. Maskin rejoined the Harvard faculty in 2012. In 2007, Maskin was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics (with L. Hurwicz and R. Myerson) for laying the foundations of mechanism design theory.

In the News

"Rethinking the Primary System," Eric Maskin, Letters to the Editor, The New York Times, March 7, 2020.
"Idea of Ranked-Choice Voting Sets Off Spirited Debate," Eric Maskin, Letters to the Editor, Boston Globe, December 16, 2019.
"6 Ways the Baseball Hall of Fame Should Revamp Elections to Prevent Future Harold Baines," Eric Maskin (with Anil Kashyap), USA Today, January 22, 2019.
"Five Reasons Ranked-Choice Voting will Improve American Democracy," Eric Maskin, Boston Globe, December 4, 2018.
"A Better Electoral System in Maine," Eric Maskin (with Amartya Sen), The New York Times, June 10, 2018.
"A Better Way to Choose Presidents," Eric Maskin (with Amartya Sen), The New York Review of Books, June 8, 2017.
"The Rules of the Game: A New Electoral System," Eric Maskin (with Amartya Sen), The New York Review of Books, January 19, 2017.
"How Majority Rule Might Have Stopped Donald Trump," Eric Maskin (with Amartya Sen), The New York Times, April 28, 2016.


"Pandering and Pork-Barrel Politics" (with Jean Tirole). Journal of Public Economics 176 (August 2019): 79-93.

Develops a model for understanding "pork-barrel politics," where government officials spend public dollars on targeted interest groups to improve their reelection chances.

"The Economics of Malaria Control in an Age of Declining Aid" (with Célestin Monga, Josselin Thuilliez, and Jean-Claude Berthélemy ). Nature Communications 10 (2019): 1-5.

Examines financing in the fight against malaria by describing malaria control plans in Africa since 2000 and offering a model of the economics of malaria and how heath aid can help.

"Introduction to Mechanism Design and Implementation" Transnational Corporations Review 11, no. 1 (2019): 1-6.

Defines the field of mechanism design, a field of economics and game theory that takes an engineering approach for describing economic systems. Then, the article describes a few concrete examples of mechanism design.

"How Can Cooperative Game Theory be Made More Relevant to Economics?: An Open Problem" in Open Problems in Mathematics, edited by John Forbes Nash, Jr. and Michael Th. Rassias (Springer, 2016), 347-350.

Describes why cooperative game theory has not advanced in teaching nor practice as noncooperative game theory. Describes steps that could be taken to change this.

"Why Haven't Global Markets Reduced Inequality in Emerging Economies?" World Bank Economic Review 29 (2015): 48-52.

Notes that prevalent economic theories predict that globalization should reduce inequality in emerging economies, however, this has not been the case. Forwards an alternative theory, which is a better fit for recent history.