Oak Park High School alum awarded Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

Paul Milgrom is now a professor at Stanford University

Oak Park High School alum wins Nobel Prize in Economics
Oak Park High School alum wins Nobel Prize in Economics

OAK PARK, Mich.Stanford University Professor Paul Milgrom didn’t know he had won a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences because he was asleep.

“My phones were all set up for Do Not Disturb...The co-winner, Bob (Robert) Wilson, is also my neighbor across the street. He came over at about 2 a.m. and was pounding on my door," said Milgrom, who graduated from Oak Park High School.

Milgrom and Wilson, who is also a professor at Stanford University, won the Nobel Prize for improvements in auction theory.

According to a press release from the University of Michigan, where Milgrom attended and graduated, auction theory is “a branch of economics that researches how people act in auction markets as well as the properties of auction markets.” The duo used the theory to design new formats on buying and selling “intangible goods such as radio frequencies,” according to the UofM.

“Milgrom designed a general theory of auctions that takes into consideration common values of auction markets as well as private values, which vary from bidder to bidder,” read the release. “To do this, he analyzed bidding strategies from well-known auction formats and showed that a seller will earn a higher expected revenue in a specific auction format when bidders learn more about each other’s estimated values during bidding.”

For any child in Oak Park, where he grew up -- or any small community in the world -- Milgrom said to feel free to dream big because success has everything to do with what you work to achieve.

“Just follow your dreams,” he said.

About the Authors:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.