Professor Sir James Mirrlees Awarded Royal Medal 2009 by The Royal Society of Edinburgh
Professor Sir James Mirrlees, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences and Distinguished Professor-at-Large of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), was recently awarded a Royal Medal 2009 by The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) for his outstanding contributions to economic theory which has had a global impact on economic development. The presentation was made by The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip of the UK.
Professor Mirrlees is a world-renowned economist who pioneered in optimal taxation theory. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1996 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the economic theory of incentives under asymmetric information. His work laid the foundation for modern analysis of complex information and incentive problems, which can be applied to many other similar situations. He was knighted in 1997. Professor Mirrlees has been Distinguished Professor-at-Large at CUHK since 2002, providing academic leadership for the University community and delivering public lectures from time to time. He is Master of Morningside College and has been playing a pivotal role in the development of the new College since its establishment in 2006.
Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, Ex-Governor of Hong Kong and President of RSE commented, ‘Awarded in recognition of outstanding achievement, the Royal Medals capture the spirit of the Society’s Royal Charter of 1783 to promote the advancement of learning and useful knowledge. All of this year’s Royal Medallists have, through their work, had a profound influence on the lives of people internationally.’ Professor Mirrlees is considered the most outstanding economic theorist that Scotland has produced in the last 150 years.
After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 1957, Professor Mirrlees was admitted to Trinity College at Cambridge University and received his PhD in Economics in 1963. From 1968 to 1995, he was Edgeworth Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Nuffield College. He is Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Cambridge and has held visiting professorships at MIT, UC Berkeley, Yale and Melbourne.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh is the Scottish equivalent of the British Royal Society. It is a learned society created in 1783, providing public benefit throughout Scotland by means of a growing international programme. It has a peer-elected, multidisciplinary Fellowship of 1,500 men and women who are experts within their fields. Since 2000, RSE has presented annual Royal Medals to individuals whose achievements have brought about benefits on an international scale. The Medallists are recommended by the RSE’s Council and approved by its Patron, Queen Elizabeth II of the UK.