31 May 1911|
|Died||9 October 2010
Saint-Cloud near Paris
|Alma mater||École Polytechnique|
|Contributions||Overlapping generations model
golden rule of optimal growth
Transaction demand for money rule
|Awards||Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics (1988)|
|Information at IDEAS/RePEc|
Maurice Félix Charles Allais (31 May 1911 – 9 October 2010) was a French economist, and 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."
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). He was also responsible for early work in Behavioral economics, which in the US is generally attributed to Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.
In 1992, Maurice Allais criticized the Maastricht Treaty for its excessive emphasis on free trade. He also expressed reservations on the single European currency. In 2005, he expressed similar reservations concerning the European constitution.
During the 1940s, Allais became interested in the theory of choice under uncertainty and developed a theory of [[cardinal utility]. Because of wartime conditions and his commitment publishing in French this work was undertaken in isolation from that of von Neumann and Morgenstern whose 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. He reported three effects with respect to these experiments:
Over the years, a number of pendulum experiments were performed by scientists around the world to test his findings. However, the results were mixed.
Allais died on 9 October 2010 at his home near Paris at the age of 99. 
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