The University of Alicante awards an honorary doctorate to the Nobel Prize in Economics Eric Maskin

The University of Alicante has celebrated this Wednesday, June 8, the Solemn Closing Ceremony of the 2021-22 Academic Year in which 64 new doctors have been invested who have completed their thesis during the past year and also the North American economist Eric S. Maskin, Nobel Prize in Economics 2007.

A course that the rector has defined as “the course of presence, of the desired normality, which has allowed us to return to the University that we are and what we wanted” and in which the authorization of the Degree in Medicine to which it was has referred to as “one more degree for the University of Alicante” that “will offer new training possibilities and will contribute with qualified professionals, in this case for the health system, as it has been doing for more than 40 years in other fields”.

Navarro has assured that “the strength of the Valencian university system grew and its quality increased because we are more, not because we are less. This is how it will continue to be and that is the path to follow: synergies, collaboration, mutual assistance, joint work to tackle the new challenges of the University in all fields. In the good it is shared, in the bad it is fought together, that is the university spirit that must guide us in the work that we assume with responsibility and with enthusiasm”.

The event began with the investiture of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Economics, Eric S. Maskin, as doctor honoris causa, who entered the auditorium accompanied by the dean of the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences, Raúl Ruiz Callado. Amparo Navarro highlighted in her speech that Eric Maskin’s academic career has been at the service of the common good and of society through research that has given rise to highly relevant contributions to the promotion of equality and democracy” .

The rector has also addressed the new doctors whom she has congratulated and has recalled that “this is a celebration that has an important meaning for the academic world since achieving the degree of doctor is the highest academic title that universities can award” .

Eric Maskin

The new doctor honoris causa from the University of Alicante and winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Economics, Eric S. Maskin, went to the auditorium to thank, first of all, the appointment for which he claimed to feel “very privileged” and then offered a dissertation on the “design of mechanisms in economic theory”, a normative or prescriptive part of the economy that is the one that he “likes” the most, he has stated.

Maskin has defended the importance of having mechanisms that help make economic decisions, he has given as an example the problem of assigning the radio spectrum to telecommunications companies and has explained the process that he followed to find an adequate mechanism, in this case a auction. A far from banal example, as Professor Carmen Bevià Baeza, Maskin’s godmother, pointed out in her laudatio “in the year 2000 in Germany it produced almost 51,000 million euros in the coffers of that government (in addition to the Nobel Prize for Milgrom and Wilson in the 2020)”.

At the conclusion of his speech, Maskin argued that “every time we have to make a public decision but we lack crucial information, but we lack crucial information, the design of the mechanism can come to the rescue. A major problem along these lines is climate change: we know that we have to drastically reduce carbon emissions to stop global warming, but we do not know how much each country in the world is willing to contribute to reach this goal. Now, unfortunately, we still don’t have a mechanism to solve climate change. But I’m sure we’ll have one one day. And when we do, the mechanism design will play a big role in the story.”

Before, in the laudatio pronounced by the godmother of the new UA honoris, the professor of the Department of Fundamentals of Economic Analysis, Carmen Bevià, highlighted his “decisive contribution to the theory of mechanism design, which is what led him to the achievement of the Nobel prize” that has produced “three branches of great practical impact: the design of auctions, that of matching mechanisms and that of food allocation for the needy”.

In this sense, Bevià has highlighted the “involvement of Maskin in the reform of the voting systems because, together with the previous examples, it shows the social concern of the investigation, which, beyond the offices, can contribute decisively to solving social problems pressing, through the perspective of science” and concluded by assuring that “Eric Maskin’s work shows us that the research that we develop from universities is not isolated from society, but is born from it and aims to improve it from thought, work and scientific rigor”.

During the act, the Minister of Innovation, Universities, Science and Digital Society, Josefina Bueno, highlighted the need to consolidate an alliance between universities and the administration to advance in the achievement of joint objectives and highlighted the drive that the Generalitat Valenciana has been given to the implantation of the Degree of Medicine. “I have not the slightest doubt that our two universities will work collaboratively, as they have always done, to strengthen the training offer of our Community”, Josefina Bueno pointed out, adding that “the economic and social development of our province does not it would be understood without our two universities, therefore, if our universities advance, our province advances and progresses”.

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The University of Alicante awards an honorary doctorate to the Nobel Prize in Economics Eric Maskin