Nobel Economist Dies at 82

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NEW YORK: After winning the Nobel prize in economics, laureate William Vickrey said he was ready to use the Nobel for a "good bully pulpit," and had a few more books to write. Instead, the 82-year old economist died Thursday night. He was found by a passing motorist unconscious at the wheel of his car about 30 miles north of New York City by a passing motorist, and pronounced DOA at a hospital early today. His 60 year career focused on "asymmetric information," when the parties in a transaction have access to different information. Interested in practical applications, like the efficient use of public transport, Vickrey was able to convince the Washington D.C. subway system (but not New York's) to use a progressive fare system, which charges more for longer trips. He also left his mark on the auction houses of the world, where a sealed bid "Vickrey auction" has the highest bidder only paying the next-highest offer. Vickrey earned a master's in economics from Columbia in 1937 and a doctorate in 1948. After winning the prize, he was invigorated, telling journalists "Forty-five years is a long time to wait for your ideas to take hold."-->