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  • - Paul? - Paul?

  • - It's Bob Wilson. - Yeah?

  • - You've won the Nobel-- - Hi, Bob.

  • - You've won the Nobel Prize.

  • - [Paul] I was asleep and the doorbell rang

  • at 2 in the morning, and I saw Bob's face.

  • and he was knocking at the door

  • and telling me that they were trying to call me,

  • and that we had won the Nobel Prize in economics.

  • - [Bob] He had turned off all of it,

  • both his landline and his cell phone.

  • So I just came over.

  • They asked me, the Nobel people asked

  • that would I please go over and knock on his door?

  • (both laughing)

  • - [Paul] So Bob was my dissertation advisor

  • and I got interested in auction theory,

  • because I wanted him to be my advisor.

  • I'd been advised by Bengt Holmstrom,

  • one of your previous students.

  • He said, "Well, the first thing you need to do is get Bob

  • to be your advisor."

  • So I picked on a topic that interested him.

  • - I'd like to mention he's the third of my students

  • to receive a Nobel Prize, very proud of that,

  • 'cause I'm a teacher

  • and I take great pride in the successes of my students.

  • - People think about art galleries or eBay, for that matter,

  • they think about buying one thing or selling one thing,

  • and people competing to buy or sell that one thing.

  • These are really simple auctions,

  • but there are complicated auctions in the world too.

  • - [Bob] The theory of auctions

  • is really just a special application

  • of game theory, it's a special kind of game.

  • The key thing is that we were auctioning many items

  • at the same time.

  • The auction goes on until there are no new bids.

  • So it's an auction that's designed to be transparent,

  • to be slow and methodical.

  • We worked together to design

  • the first U.S. radio spectrum auction,

  • which is a novel design

  • that became the basis for many other designs,

  • and billions of dollars of transactions around the world,

  • and setting that up in a way that uses bidding

  • is something that nobody knew how to do before.

  • And we were able to innovate new economic methods,

  • market design methods that made that possible.

  • - Well, he's a phenomenon.

  • So he's very precise, very rigorous.

  • He thinks like a mathematician,

  • in a very rigorous, detailed kind of way.

  • I'm more of a speculative thinker.

  • He's very precise.

  • - For me, Bob and I think very differently.

  • He is a much more visual thinker.

  • He would draw graphs and pictures of things,

  • which I would go home and try to decipher

  • and try to figure out what he was talking about.

  • But it was inspiring,

  • but it was also stretching me in new directions.

  • - It's so great to, we're enthusiastic about what we do.

  • We like it.

  • And it's exciting-- - Yes, that's it.

  • - And I continue to be excited by new things

  • and that, it's a great life to be able to live this way.

- Paul? - Paul?

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B1 INT US nobel nobel prize auction prize paul advisor

Stanford economists Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson react to winning the Nobel Prize in economics

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