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Maurice Félix Charles Allais

Maurice Allais was the 1988 winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics "for his pioneering contributions to the theory of markets and efficient utilization of resources." His name is particularly associated with what is commonly known as the Allais paradox, a decision problem he first presented in 1953 which contradicts the expected utility hypothesis. Allais is the founder of the French school of marginalism.


  • Born in Paris, France, Allais attended the Lycée Lakanal, graduated from the École Polytechnique in Paris and studied at the École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris.


  • His academic and non-academic posts have included being Professor of Economics at the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris (since 1944) and Director of its Economic Analysis Centre (since 1946). In 1949 he received a Doctor-Engineer title from the University of Paris, Faculty of Science. He also held teaching positions at various institutions, including at the University of Paris X-Nanterre, and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

    As an economist he made contributions to decision theory, monetary policy and other areas. He was reluctant to write in or translate his work into English, and many of his major contributions became known to the dominant anglophone community only when they were independently rediscovered or popularized by English-speaking economists. For example, in one of his major works, Économie et Intérêt (1947), he introduced the first overlapping generations model (later popularized by Paul Samuelson in 1958), introduced the golden rule of optimal growth (later popularized by Edmund Phelps) or described the transaction demand for money rule (later found in William Baumol's work).[2] He was also responsible for early work in Behavioral economics, which in the US is generally attributed to Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.


  • Fellow: Operations Research Society America,

  • New York Academy Scis.,

  • International Econometric Society (council 1960?Co65); International Statistical Institute,

  • French Association Economic Sci. (chairman 1972),

  • American Economic Association (honorary),



Other interests: Professional interests: decision theory, monetary policy,theory of games and economic behavior included the development of expected utility theory. Besides his career in economics, Maurice Allais performed experiments between 1952 and 1960 in the fields of gravitation, special relativity and electromagnetism, in order to investigate possible links between these fields


  • Mother: Louise
  • Father: Maurice
  • ifluenced: Gerard Debreu
    Debreu has read a fundamental work of Morris Allais: la recherche, d'une discipline economique. After the reading Gerard understood economics as a science.
  • Influenced: R. Deem
    Deem visited lots of Allai's economic seminars and lectures.
  • Economist: Jacques Drèze
Born May 31, 1911
Died October 9, 2010
(aged 99)
  • 1931 - 1933
    studied at Ecole polytechnique, Polytechnique , Student
  • 1934 - 1936
    studied at Ecole nationale supérieure des Mines de Paris, Student
  • 1937 - 1943
    Head, mine service & railway control Department Mines & Quarries
  • 1943 - 1948
    director, Bureau Mines Documentation & Statistics
  • 1944 - 1949
    studied at Ecole nationale supérieure des Mines de Paris, Economics, Professor of Economics
  • 1944 - 1988
    professor, economic analysis ENSM
  • 1946 - 2010
    studied at Ecole nationale supérieure des Mines de Paris, Economics, Director of its Economic Analysis Centre
  • 1947 - 1968
    professor, theoretical economics Institute Statistics
  • 1949 - 1949
    , Economics, Doctor-Engineer
  • 1970 - 1985
    director, seminar monetary analysis University Paris-X
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