April 13, 1947|
|Died||May 1, 2004
|Institution||University of Southern California
University of Toulouse
|Alma mater||University of Toulouse, Harvard University (Ph.D., 1975)|
Information econometrics, especially asymmetry
|Awards||Yrjö Jahnsson Award (1993)|
Jean-Jacques Marcel Laffont (April 13, 1947 – May 1, 2004) was a French economist specializing in public economics and information economics. Educated at the University of Toulouse and the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Economique (ENSAE) in Paris, he was awarded the Ph.D. in Economics by Harvard University in 1975.
Laffont taught at the École Polytechnique (1975–1987), and was Professor of Economics at the University of Toulouse I (1991–2001). In 1991, he founded Toulouse's Industrial Economics Institute (Institut D'Economie Industrielle, IDEI) which has become one of the most prominent European research centres in economics. From 2001 until his death, he was the inaugural holder of the University of Southern California's John Elliott Chair in Economics. Over the course of his career, he wrote 17 books and more than 200 articles.
Contribution to economics
Laffont made pioneering contributions in microeconomics, in particular, public economics, development economics, and the theory of imperfect information, incentives, and regulation. His 1993 book A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation, written with Jean Tirole, is a fundamental reference in the economics of the public sector and the theory of regulation. In 2002, he published (with David Martimort) The Theory of Incentives: the Principal-Agent Model, a treatise on the economics of information and incentives. His last book, Regulation and Development, discussed policies for improving the economies of less developed countries.
Awards and honors
- Wells Prize, awarded biannually by Harvard University to the best Ph.D. thesis in economics (1975);
- Silver Medal of the CNRS (1990);
- Scientific Prize of the UAP (1991);
- Honorary Member of the American Economic Association (1991);
- Senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France, which honors the best research professors in France in all disciplines (1991–2001);
- Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993);
- Best economist of the year award from the Nouvel Economiste magazine (1993);
- (with Jean Tirole, Scientific Director of IDEI), the Yrjö Jahnsson Award from the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation and the European Economic Association, awarded biennially to the best European economist under the age of 45 (1993);
- Member of the Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Minister of France (1997);
- Honorary doctorate from the University of Lausanne (1998);
- Officer of the French Legion of Honor.
- J.J. Laffont,  2008. "externalities," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition, Abstract.
- Jean-Jacques Laffont and Jean Tirole, 1993. A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation. Description & down for chapter links.
- Jean-Jacques Laffont and David Martimort, 2002. The Theory of Incentives: the Principal-Agent Model. Description, "Introduction," & down for chapter links.
- Jean-Jacques Laffont, 2005. Regulation and Development. Description & down for chapter links.