2012 Economics Nobel Prize winner Alvin Roth
2012 Economics Nobel Prize winner Alvin Roth Reuters

Jewish-American economist Alvin Roth and his American colleague Lloyd Shapley were awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics on Monday for their work on market design and matching theory.

Their groundbreaking work, which relates to how people and companies find and select one another in everything from marriage to school choice to jobs to organ donations, The New York Times reported.

Their work has sparked a "flourishing field of research" and helped improve the performance of many markets, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced.

Roth, 60, is a professor at Harvard Business School, but currently is a visiting professor at Stanford University. Shapley, 89, is a professor emeritus at University of California Los Angeles.

Both laureates have strong academic ties to Israel. Roth was a visiting professor Technion Insitute in Haifa and Hebrew University, while Shapley received an honorary doctorate from Hebrew University and has worked closely with Israeli Nobel Prize Laureate Robert Auman.

The Nobel in economic science is not one of the original prizes created by Alfred Nobel. It has been awarded each year since 1969 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In addition to a medal and a diploma, the laureates collectively win a cash prize worth about $1.2 million.

Jewish American Robert Lefkowitz won the 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday and Serge Haroche, a Frenchman of Moroccan-Jewish descent, won the Nobel Prize for Physics Tuesday.

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