Alvin Elliot Roth is a Jewish American economist.
Born on December 18, 1951, Roth earned his undergraduate degree in Operations research at Columbia University in New York City in 1971. He completed his graduate work, both a masters and Ph.D. in Operations research, at Stanford University in California in the early 1970s.
Upon graduation, Roth taught at the University of Illinois and subsequently became Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh. While at the latter institution of higher learning, he was also a fellow at the university’s Center for Philosophy of Science, as well as a professor in its Katz Graduate School of Business. In 1988, Roth joined the faculty of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2012, he returned as a faculty member at Stanford.
Roth holds numerous fellowships as he is an Alfred P. Sloan fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He belongs to the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Econometric Society. A collection of Roth’s academic papers is housed at the Rubenstein Library at Duke University in North Carolina.
Roth’s economic work spans the fields of game theory, market design, and experimental economics. He is most well-known for his work to redesign systems to select medical residents, New York City high schools, and Boston primary schools. Additionally, he is known for his ability and expertise at applying economic theories to real-world problems.
Roth is one of the founders of the New England Program for Kidney Exchange, which registers and matches compatible kidney donors with recipients. He has authored many scholarly articles, books, and other publications during his career as an economist, including Game Theory in the Tradition of Bob Wilson (2001), which he edited with two colleagues.
In 2012, Roth won the Nobel Prize in Economics jointly with Lloyd Shapley for the theory of stable allocations and market design.