James Mirrlees

Distinguished Professor-at-Large and Master of Morningside College
, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Profile / Bio: 

Sir James Mirrlees was Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Cambridge and Master of Morningside College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  His work in microeconomics is deemed to be world-renowned. During the 1960s and 1970s he worked on the theory of public economic policy which would eventually earn him the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1996 (alongside William Vickrey) for their pathbreaking work on the economic theory of incentives under asymmetric information. His economic models, looking at 'moral hazard' and 'optimal income taxation', are standards taught in the discipline. 

Mirrlees was an adviser to the MIT Centre for International Studies in New Delhi, India, and served as assistant lecturer and lecturer in economics at Cambridge University. He became professor of economics at Oxford University from 1968 to 1995, then moved back to Cambridge as professor of political economy. Mirrlees was also a member of the Scottish government’s council of economic advisers. He was knighted in 1997.

He obtained his MA in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh and his PhD from Trinity College, Cambridge. He passed away on 29 August 2018.