The 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded on Monday to French professor and economist Jean Tirole for "his analysis of market power and regulation."
The Nobel Prize in Economics -- officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel -- is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm for outstanding contributions to the field of economics.
Before Tirole, most researchers wanted to develop general regulation principles that governments could apply to all industries. Together with his late colleague Jean-Jacques Laffont, Tirole showed that theoretically, such general rules would only work well in certain conditions, not all of them. He suggested that the best government regulation should be carefully adapted to each industry's conditions, The Telegraph reported.
"Jean Tirole is one of the most influential economists of our time," the Academy stated. "He has made important theoretical research contributions in a number of areas, but most of all he has clarified how to understand and regulate industries with a few powerful firms."
The 61-year-old professor at the Toulouse School of Economics began researching regulation and oligopoly in the early 1980s after receiving degrees in engineering from Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees, in mathematics from Université Paris Dauphine and a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tirole, who is the 50th laureate born in France, is a former president of the Econometric Society and the European Economic Association. He is also the author of 10 books and about 200 articles on economics and finance.
Established in 1968, the Nobel Prize in Economics has been awarded to 74 individuals, but only one woman (Elinor Ostrom, 2009). Nobel laureates receive the title, a diploma, a gold medal and about $1.1 million in award money.
Click here for a complete list of past laureates in this category.