Prof. Ye Lixin: Two Qualities of Prof. Paul Milgrom Are Admirable; An Online Celebration Was Held by Their Students
Prof. Paul Milgrom, Special-Term Professor of Shenzhen Finance Institute (SFI), was awarded a Nobel Prize 2020 in Economic Sciences. On Oct 12 (BJT), the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that American economists Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson were this year’s Laureates in Economic Sciences "for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.". On Oct 13 (BJT), 60 students of these two professors held online cocktail party for them.
According to the official website of the Nobel Prize, two Laureates, Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, are Professors at Stanford University. These two professors were the supervisors of Ye Lixin, Professor of School of Management and Economics (SME), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Director of MSc in Economics and Director of Ph.D. in Economics when pursuing his Ph.D. degree at Stanford University. Prof. Ye extended his congratulations to his two supervisors. He said that two professors are noted for their meticulous scholarship and great contributions to theories and practices. It is worthy of mentioning that Prof. Robert Wilson was his thesis advisor of Prof. Paul Milgrom. As of now, Prof. Robert Wilson and his three students won the Nobel Prizes, which is regarded as a legend in the realm of economics.
Prof. Ye Lixin said in an interview that Prof. Paul Milgrom has two qualities distinctive from other Nobel Prize laureates. The first is remarkable achievements in multiple academic fields and the second is application-oriented theoretical studies.
Prof. Paul Milgrom has made extraordinary contributions in many academic fields.
When it comes to his Ph.D. primary supervisor, Prof. Ye Lixin said that Prof. Paul Milgrom presents perfect in academia, “It seems that there is almost no question he can’t answer, this is the impression almost everyone who is familiar with him would have including me." Prof. Ye Lixin said that most of the Nobel Prize laureates in economics have made groundbreaking contributions in a certain field, while Prof. Paul Milgrom has made extraordinary contributions in many fields such as game theory, organization theory and information economics, industrial organization structure, corporate contract theory, finance, macroeconomics, management, comparative analysis of economic systems, etc. " Among living economists, his publications are the world's most frequently cited academic ones."
Putting auction theory to practical use is worthy to draw attentions in academia.
Prof. Ye Lixin said that Prof. Paul Milgrom not only has produced a profound impact in theories but also made extraordinary achievements in the field of practice. "He has two auction designs for governments that are best known in the U.S. and even in the world. One of them is the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) radio wave auction in the early 1990s, adding 27 billion dollars as the profit to the US government. This has become the most classic example of the government relying on economists to optimize the allocation of scarce resources. Most of his theoretical researches is inspired by the real world, so his theories can often be combined with reality, and applies into the real world. This is another reason that I admired him in the academic society of economics."
Prof. Ye Lixin shared that, as Prof. Paul Milgrom had worked in the industry after graduation, and took an MBA course before pursuing a Ph.D. These experiences made him proficient at thinking about theory from the perspective of real-world applications. "Moreover, he used to analyzing the seemingly complicated economic phenomenon and may tell you the essence through one or two formulas or one or two sentences. His ability also greatly impressed everyone."
The combination of strictness and caring
Prof. Ye Lixin （Left), Prof. Paul Milgrom (Right)
Prof. Paul Milgrom has outstanding students all over the world, including the student who has ranked first in the economics job market in the U.S. for many years. Many former students have played an important role in their fields, such as the 2007 John Bates Clark Award Laureate Susan Athey, South Korea’s most prestigious economist Yeon-Koo Che, and one of the young leaders in economics, Li Shengwu (grandson of Lee Kuan Yew), etc. They are all his students. Prof. Paul Milgrom also has a lot of connections with Chinese students. In addition to Prof. Ye Lixin, his students include Fang Xinghai, the Vice Chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, Li Bo, the Vice Mayor of Chongqing, and Cai Hongbin, Dean of the Business School of The University of Hong Kong. According to his students, on the one hand, he is so rigorous and on the other hand, he cares a lot in students’ lives.
"He is very strict in dealing with academic issues. Regardless of students or his colleagues, if he finds a problem, he will take it seriously until it has been corrected." Prof. Ye Lixin also said that Prof. Paul Milgrom gives a lot of care to his students in their lives. He always keeps in touch with students after their graduation, paying attention to the growth of the students and be proud of it. "When he learned that I got a tenured faculty position at Ohio State University, he was so delightful that he posted this message on his own personal website.
Future cooperation with SFI on energy markets.
Prof. Paul Milgrom Accepted Letter of Appointment
"He is a role model in my heart. To me, he is like the sea. I try my best to learn from him, even only acquire very small part of his research output. " Prof. Ye Lixin hopes to inherit the rigorous academic style of Prof. Paul Milgrom in the teaching of SME and the economics programmes. He said that he hoped that his students would adopt a rigorous attitude towards academics like Prof. Paul Milgrom.
Prof. Paul Milgrom is currently the Special-Term Professor of Shenzhen Finance Institute, CUHK-Shenzhen and Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the "Energy Market and Energy Finance Laboratory”. "We look forward to launching in-depth cooperation with Prof. Paul Milgro in the field of market design.
Special thanks to Prof. Ye Lixin.
Proofreading: Yifei, Ella