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December 12, 1950|
New York City, New York
Institute for Advanced Study|
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Known for||Game theory, mechanism design|
|Notable awards||Nobel Memorial Prize (2007)|
Maskin was born in New York City, New York on December 12, 1950, to a non-religious Jewish family, and grew up in Alpine, New Jersey. He graduated from Tenafly High School in Tenafly, New Jersey in 1968, and then studied at Harvard University where he received his A.B. and Ph.D. After he got his Ph.D., Maskin went to the University of Cambridge in 1976 where he was a research fellow at Cambridge College. He taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1977-1984 and from 1985-2000 at Harvard, where he was the Louis Berkman Professor of Economics. In 2000, he moved to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
He has studied a wide range of subjects in economic theory, such as game theory, the economics of incentives, and contract theory. He is particularly well known for his work on mechanism design/implementation theory and dynamic games. His current research projects include comparing different rules for elections, the causes of inequality and studying coalition formation. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Econometric Society, and the European Economic Association, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He was president of the Econometric Society in 2003.
Maskin suggested that software patents make new inventions difficult. Software, semiconductor, and computer industries have made many inventions in the past when patent laws have been weak, he argued. "In the 1980s when patent protection was extended to software," wrote Maskin. "Arguments predicted that productivity should have increased among patenting firms." Maskins ideas that this would not happen were correct. "These increases did not occur." 
- Economics professor wins Nobel - The Daily Princetonian
- Silverstein, Marilyn. "Nobel winner who's at home with Einstein", New Jersey Jewish News, November 8, 2007. Accessed January 22, 2008. "A native of New York, Maskin grew up in New Jersey, in a nonreligious Jewish home in the town of Alpine."
- Minutes of Library Board Meeting, Tenafly Public Library, dated October 15, 2007. Accessed January 22, 2008.
- Sequential Innovation, Patents, and Imitation, by James Bessen and Eric Maskin, Discussion paper, MIT (2000), forthcoming in The RAND Journal of Economics
- Webpage from Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science
- Profile in The Daily Princetonian
- Nash Equilibrium and Welfare Optimality
- Tabarrok, Alex (2007-10-16). "What is Mechanism Design? Explaining the research that won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Economics.". Reasononline news. Reason Magazine. http://www.reason.com/news/show/122998.html.