Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom have been awarded the 2016 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for their work in contract theory.
Their contributions gave rise to an extensive and innovative literature. Contract theory quickly found applications in other fields like finance, organisation theory, macroeconomics, international trade, industrial organisation and political economy. Both prize winners are well known to our university and this prize holds special meaning for the ULB. Oliver Hart was awarded an honorary doctorate at our university in 1992 (proposed by the Faculty of Social, Political and Economic Sciences – Solvay Business School or SOCO). Bengt Holmström was a guest speaker at the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Solvay Business School in 2003. And in June 2011, contract theory was again honoured at the ULB when ECARES organised an international conference at the SBS-EM to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hart’s 1986 seminal paper on incomplete contracts.
Aghion, Dewatripont, Legros and Zingales, The Impact of Incomplete Contracts on Economics, Oxford University Press.
www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/laureates/2016/popular-economicsciences2016.pdf (for a discussion of the motivation of the Prize, including a reference to the proceedings of this ULB conference)