Lloyd Shapley
Shapley in 1980
Lloyd Stowell Shapley

(1923-06-02)June 2, 1923
DiedMarch 12, 2016(2016-03-12) (aged 92)
Alma materHarvard University (BA)
Princeton University (PhD)
Known forShapley value
Shapley–Shubik power index
stochastic games
Bondareva–Shapley theorem
Shapley–Folkman lemma & theorem
Gale–Shapley algorithm
potential game
[[Core (game theory) |core]], kernel and nucleolus
market games
authority distribution
multi-person utility
non-atomic games
SpouseMarian Louise Shapley (since 1955)[2]
AwardsNobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2012)
Bronze Star Medal(1944)
Golden Goose Award (2013)
John von Neumann Theory Prize (1981)
Scientific career
FieldsMathematics, economics
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Los Angeles
RAND Corporation
Princeton University
ThesisAdditive and non-additive set functions (1953)
Doctoral advisorAlbert W. Tucker[1]

Lloyd Stowell Shapley (/ˈʃæpli/; June 2, 1923 – March 12, 2016) was an American mathematician and Nobel Memorial Prize-winning economist. He contributed to the fields of mathematical economics and especially game theory. Shapley is generally considered one of the most important contributors to the development of game theory since the work of von Neumann and Morgenstern.[3] With Alvin E. Roth, Shapley won the 2012 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design."[4][5]

Life and career

Lloyd Shapley was born on June 2, 1923, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the sons of astronomers Harlow Shapley and Martha Betz Shapley, both from Missouri.[6] He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and was a student at Harvard when he was drafted in 1943. He served in the United States Army Air Corps in Chengdu, China and received the Bronze Star decoration for breaking the Soviet weather code.[7]

After the war, Shapley returned to Harvard and graduated with an A.B. in mathematics in 1948. After working for one year at the RAND Corporation, he went to Princeton University where he received a Ph.D. in 1953[8] based on the thesis "Additive and non-additive set functions".[1][9] His thesis and post-doctoral work introduced the Shapley value and the core solution in game theory. Shapley defined game theory as "a mathematical study of conflict and cooperation." After graduating, he remained at Princeton for a short time before going back to the RAND corporation from 1954 to 1981. In 1950, while a graduate student, Shapley invented the board game So Long Sucker, along with Mel Hausner, John Forbes Nash, and Martin Shubik.[10] Israeli economist and Nobel Laureate Robert Aumann considered Shapley to be "the greatest game theorist of all time."[11]

Lloyd Shapley in Stockholm 2012

From 1981 until his death, Shapley was a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), serving at the time of his death as a professor emeritus there, affiliated with the Mathematics and Economics departments. He died on March 12, 2016, in Tucson, Arizona, after suffering from a broken hip, at the age of 92.[4]

Shapley was an expert Kriegspiel player, and an avid baseball fan.[11]


Along with the Shapley value, stochastic games, the Bondareva–Shapley theorem (which implies that convex games have non-empty cores), the Shapley–Shubik power index (for weighted or block voting power), the Gale–Shapley algorithm for the stable marriage problem, the concept of a potential game (with Dov Monderer), the Aumann–Shapley pricing, the Harsanyi–Shapley solution, the Snow–Shapley theorem for matrix games, and the Shapley–Folkman lemma & theorem bear his name.[12] According to The Economist, Shapley "may have thought of himself as a mathematician, but he cannot avoid being remembered for his huge contributions to economics".[13] The American Economic Association noted that Shapley was "one of the giants of game theory and economic theory".[12]

Besides, his early work with R. N. Snow and Samuel Karlin on matrix games was so complete that little has been added since. He has been instrumental in the development of utility theory, and it was he who laid much of the groundwork for the solution of the problem of the existence of Von Neumann–Morgenstern stable sets. His work with M. Maschler and B. Peleg on the kernel and the nucleolus, and his work with Robert Aumann on non-atomic games and on long-term competition have all appeared in economic theory.[14]

Shapley argued with his sons about whether he should accept the Nobel Prize at all. He opined that his father, the astronomer Harlow Shapley, deserved it more. His sons persuaded him to accept it and accompanied him to Stockholm.[15]

Awards and honors

Selected publications

See also


  1. ^ a b Lloyd Shapley at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ Jain, C (March 15, 2016). "Spouse - source from NYTimes". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Roth, A.E., Introduction to the Shapley Value, in "The Shapley Value: Essays in Honor of Lloyd S. Shapley", Cambridge University Press, 1988.
  4. ^ a b "Lloyd Shapley, a Nobel laureate in economics, has died". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  5. ^ Roth, Al (March 12, 2016). "Lloyd S. Shapley 1923– 2016". Nature. 532 (7598): 178. Bibcode:2016Natur.532..178R. doi:10.1038/532178a. PMID 27075091. S2CID 4469185. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  6. ^ "MARTHA BETZ SHAPLEY". The New York Times. January 27, 1981.
  7. ^ a b "Lloyd S. Shapley – Interview". Nobel Media AB. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Princeton alumnus Shapley wins Nobel Prize". Princeton University. October 15, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  9. ^ Hausner, M., Nash, J. F., Shapley, L. S. & Shubik, M., (1964), "So Long Sucker, A Four-Person Game", Game Theory and Related Approaches to Social Behavior, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.
  10. ^ a b Hagerty, James, Lloyd Shapley: 1923–2016, Wall Street Journal, March 19–20, 2016, p. A7.
  11. ^ a b "Lloyd Shapley" (PDF). American Economic Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  12. ^ "Matchmaker in heaven – Lloyd Shapley, a Nobel laureate in economics, has died". The Economist. March 13, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  13. ^ Diertele, David A. (August 8, 2013). Economic Thinkers: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Abc-Clio. p. 385. ISBN 9780313397479. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  14. ^ Hagerty, James, Lloyd Shapley: 1923–2016, Wall Street Journal, March 19–20, 2016, p.A7
  15. ^ a b c d e f "Lloyd Stowell Shapley – Vita". UCLA. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  16. ^ "INFORMS – Fellows Class of 2002". Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  17. ^ "Distinguished Fellows". American Economic Association. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  18. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved July 18, 2013.
  19. ^ "Market Design". The Golden Goose Award. Retrieved May 27, 2015.

Further reading

Stable Marriage and Its Relation to Other Combinatorial Problems: An Introduction to the Mathematical Analysis of Algorithms, Donald E. Knuth, American Mathematical Society, 1997 (English Translation.)