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STOCKHOLM (AP) — Two American economists won the Nobel Prize on Monday for improving how auctions work, research that underlies much of today’s economy — from the way Google sells advertising to the way telecoms companies acquire airwaves from the government.

The discoveries of Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson, both of Stanford University, “have benefitted sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world,” the Nobel Committee said.

Wilson was once Milgrom’s Ph.D. adviser, and the two also happen to be neighbors. Reached by phone at his home in California, Milgrom said he received news of their win “in a strange way.”


“I got a knock at my door from Bob Wilson” when it was still the middle of the night, he told The Associated Press.

Milgrom, 72, said students, friends and colleagues had long suggested he and Wilson, 83, might be due for the prize.

“It’s nice to have

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