ⓘ Jean Tirole


ⓘ Jean Tirole

Jean Tirole is a French professor of economics. He focuses on industrial organization, game theory, banking and finance, and economics and psychology. In 2014 he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his analysis of market power and regulation.


1. Education

Tirole received engineering degrees from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris in 1976, and from the Ecole nationale des ponts et chaussees in 1978. He graduated as a member of the elite Corps of Bridges, Waters and Forests. Tirole pursued graduate studies at the Paris Dauphine University and was awarded a DEA degree in 1976 and a Doctorat de troisieme cycle in decision mathematics in 1978. In 1981, he received a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his thesis titled Essays in economic theory, under the supervision of Eric Maskin.


2. Career

Tirole is chairman of the board of the Jean-Jacques Laffont Foundation at the Toulouse School of Economics, and scientific director of the Industrial Economics Institute IDEI at Toulouse 1 University Capitole. After receiving his doctorate from MIT in 1981, he worked as a researcher at the Ecole nationale des ponts et chaussees until 1984. From 1984–1991, he worked as Professor of Economics at MIT. His work by 1988 helped to define modern industrial organization theory by organising and synthesising the main results of the game-theory revolution vis-à-vis understanding of non-competitive markets.

From 1994 to 1996 he was a Professor of Economics at the Ecole Polytechnique. Tirole was involved with Jean-Jacques Laffont in the project of creating a new School of Economics in Toulouse. He is Engineer General of the Corps of Bridges, Waters and Forest, serving as Chair of the Board of the Toulouse School of Economics, Visiting Professor at MIT and Professor "cumulant" at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales since 1995.

He was president of the Econometric Society in 1998 and of the European Economic Association in 2001. Around this time, he was able to determine a way to calculate the optimal prices for the regulation of natural monopolies and wrote a number of articles about the regulation of capital markets - with a focus on the differential of control between decentralised lenders and the centralised control of bank management. Tirole has been a member of the Academie des Sciences morales et politiques since 2011, the Conseil danalyse economique since 2008 and the Conseil strategique de la recherche since 2013. In the early 2010s, he showed that banks generally tend to take short-term risks and recommended a change in quantitative easing towards a more quality-based market stimulation policy.


3. Contributions to economics

Tiroles textbook, The Theory of Industrial Organization, synthesised modern models of oligopolistic competition, analysing various cases where industries consist of a small number of firms with significant market power. He and Oliver Hart published a paper showing the conditions in which a vertical merger can result in foreclosure. Rochet and Tirole analysed the implications of 2-sided markets for competition policy. Fudenberg and Tirole also created a taxonomy of strategic effects in oligopolistic competition models.


4. Awards

Tirole was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2014 for his analysis of market power and the regulation of natural monopolies. Tirole received doctorates honoris causa from the Universite libre de Bruxelles in 1989, the London Business School and the University of Montreal in 2007, the University of Mannheim in 2011, the Athens University of Economics and Business and the University of Rome Tor Vergata in 2012 as well as the University of Lausanne in 2013.

Tirole also received the inaugural BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Economics, Finance and Management category in 2008, the Public Utility Research Center Distinguished Service Award University of Florida in 1997, and the Yrjo Jahnsson Award of the Yrjo Jahnsson Foundation and the European Economic Association in 1993. He is a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1993 and of the American Economic Association 1993. He has also been a Sloan Fellow 1985 and a Guggenheim Fellow 1988. He was a fellow of the Econometric Society in 1986 and an Economic Theory Fellow Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory in 2011. In 2013 Tirole was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

In 2007 he was awarded the highest award the Gold Medal or medaille dor of the French CNRS. In 2008, he received the Prix du Cercle dOc; in 2009, he received an Outstanding Contributions to the Profession Award International Association for Energy Economics; in 2010, he was granted the Chicago Mercantile Exchange – Mathematical Sciences Research Institute CME-MSRI prize in Innovative Quantitative Innovations in Finance, the Tjalling Koopmans Asset Award Tilburg University, and the "Prix Claude Levi-Strauss". He is among the most influential economists in the world according to IDEAS/RePEc. Besides his numerous academic distinctions, he was the recipient of the Gold Medal of the city of Toulouse in 2007, a Chevalier de la Legion dhonneur since 2007 and an Officer in the Ordre national du Merite since 2010.


5. Publications

Tirole has published about 200 professional articles in economics and finance, as well as 10 books, including The Theory of Industrial Organization, Game Theory with Drew Fudenberg, A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation with Jean-Jacques Laffont, The Prudential Regulation of Banks with Mathias Dewatripont, Competition in Telecommunications with Jean-Jacques Laffont, Financial Crises, Liquidity, and the International Monetary System, and The Theory of Corporate Finance. His research covers industrial organization, regulation, game theory, public economics, banking and finance, psychology and economics, international finance and macroeconomics.


5.1. Publications Books

  • Competition in Telecommunications, MIT Press, 1999.
  • Balancing the Banks with Mathias Dewatripont, and Jean-Charles Rochet, Princeton University Press, 2010.
  • Financial Crises, Liquidity and the International Monetary System, Princeton University Press, 2002.
  • A Theory of Incentives in Regulation and Procurement with J J. Laffont, MIT Press,1993. Description & chapter-preview links.
  • Dynamic Models of Oligopoly with D. Fudenberg, 1986.
  • Theorie de lorganisation industrielle, Economica, 2015
  • The Theory of Industrial Organization, MIT Press, 1988. Description and chapter-preview links.
  • The Prudential Regulation of Banks with M. Dewatripont, MIT Press,1994.
  • Inside and Outside Liquidity with Bengt Holmstrom, MIT Press, 2011.
  • Economie du bien commun, Presses universitaires de France, 2016
  • The Theory of Corporate Finance, Princeton University Press, 2005. Description. Association of American Publishers 2006 Award for Excellence.
  • Dynamic Models of Oligopoly, MIT Press, 1991.