Two U.S. economists awarded 2020 Nobel Prize in economics
Updated 18:40, 12-Oct-2020

The 2020 Nobel Prize in economic sciences has been awarded to U.S. economists Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson "for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on Monday. 

"The new auction formats are a beautiful example of how basic research can subsequently generate inventions that benefit society," the academy said in a statement. 

"Auctions are everywhere and affect our everyday lives. This year's Economic Sciences Laureates, Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, have improved auction theory and invented new auction formats, benefiting sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world," the Nobel Prize's official website tweeted. 

New auction formats have been used for radio spectra, fishing quotas, aircraft landing slots and emissions allowances. 

There will be no traditional Nobel  Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The economics prize, won by such luminaries as Paul Krugman and Milton Friedman in the past, was the final of the six awards in 2020, a year in which the Nobels have been overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The 10-million-Swedish-crown ($1.14 million) economics prize is not one of the original five awards created in the 1895 will of industrialist and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel, but was established by Sweden's central bank and first awarded in 1969. 

The Norwegian Nobel Committee plans to go ahead with an award ceremony, albeit in a reduced format due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel.

(With input from Reuters)