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Maurice Allais

Born: 31-May-1911
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: 9-Oct-2010
Location of death: Paris, France
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Economist

Nationality: France
Executive summary: Monopoly pricing and the Allais effect

Military service: French Army, to Lieutenant (1939-43)

Maurice Allais opposed the French post-war nationalization of several industries, but developed principles used to determine effective pricing and resource allocation in state-owned utilities and other monopolistic enterprises. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1988. Paul Samuelson, the 1970 Economics laureate, said that had Allais written in English, "a generation of economic theory would have taken a different course". His most famous economic work, the 900-page Á la Recherche d'une Discipline Économique (In Search of an Economic Discipline) has never been translated into English. He was forced by French academic rules to retire, due to his age, ten years before winning his Nobel Prize, and upon winning he said he hoped the honor would show the absurdity of such rules.

Despite his credentials in economics, he may be better known for his work as a physicist, including his 1950s discovery of an unsuspected phenomenon dubbed by NASA the "Allais effect", which calls into question some of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. He has conducted respected work on gravitation, the speed of light, and the anisotropy (direction-based variation) of space. In recent years, Allais has used his Nobel prestige to speak out against globalization. His 1999 book La Mondialisation: La Destruction des Emplois et de la Croissance (Globalization: Destruction of Employment and Growth) is dedicated to "the innumerable world-wide victims of globalist free-trade, an ideology as disastrous as it is erroneous".

Father: (cheese shopkeeper)

    High School: Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Paris, France (1929)
    University: BA equiv. Engineering, École Polytechnique (1933)
    University: École des Mines of Paris (attended 1934-37)
    University: PhD Economics, École des Mines of Paris (1949)
    Professor: Economics, École des Mines of Paris (1944-67)
    Professor: Theoretical Economics, University of Paris (1947-68)
    Professor: Economics, Institute of International Studies in Geneva (1967-70)
    Administrator: Research Director, French National Center for Scientific Research (1946-80)

    French Legion of Honor 1977
    Nobel Prize for Economics 1988
    Econometric Society
    French Academy of Sciences
    Institute of Management Sciences
    International Statistical Institute
    Mont Pelerin Society
    New York Academy of Sciences

Author of books:
Á la Recherche d'une Discipline Économique (1943)
Cardinalism: A Fundamental Approach (1994, with Ole Hagen)
La Mondialisation: La Destruction des Emplois et de la Croissance (1999)


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