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Nobel Prize in Economics awarded to Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson of Stanford University

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“Their discoveries have benefited sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world,” the prize committee said.

The men were honored for theoretical insights into developing the best rules for bidding and for establishing the final price. The resulting improvements in auction formats have proven especially useful in auctioning off goods and services that are difficult to price using traditional methods, such as radio frequencies, the committee said.

Wilson, 83, was cited for theoretical research that explored “the winner’s curse” in auctions of goods that ultimately had the same value to all potential buyers, such as minerals in a specific geographic area. He developed a theory explaining the tendency of successful bidders to place bids lower than their own estimate of the item’s value to themselves or other buyers, because they feared paying too much.

Milgrom, 72, drew the nod for developing a more general theory of auctions involving values that vary between bidders. After analyzing bidding strategies in several popular auctions, he showed the best format to be one in which bidders learn more about each other’s estimated values during bidding.

Auctions are embedded throughout the modern economy. Art houses use them to sell paintings and antiquities. Search engines rely on them to dispose of advertising space. And public authorities offer airport landings slots and mineral rights via auctions.

Global financial markets also operate on their principles.

Asked by reporters about his own use of auctions, Wilson mentioned that he had recently purchased a pair of ski boots on eBay. “It’s something you encounter a lot,” he said.

The prize committee said that Milgrom and Wilson had invented new formats for simultaneously auctioning off many interrelated objects for societal benefit rather than maximal revenue. In 1994, the U.S. government first used their insights to auction off radio frequencies to telecommunications companies.

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Huw Jones: Switch to full-back can revive Scotland career, says Danny Wilson

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Huw Jones has impressed at full-back for Glasgow Warriors
Huw Jones has impressed at full-back for Glasgow Warriors

The Scotland career of “happy and motivated” Huw Jones can be reignited by his switch to full-back, says Glasgow head coach Danny Wilson.

After a blistering start on the international stage, Jones fell out of favour with club and country and missed the 2019 World Cup.

His form since moving to 15 is good, with a try capping an impressive show in Saturday’s 28-24 loss to Connacht.

“He’s really settling into that role and playing good stuff,” Wilson said.

“There are a couple of bits we want him to improve, but that will come with more games and more understanding of the position.

“In terms of his attacking flair and presence, some of his defensive work and back-field work, he’s playing really well.”

Some flashes of his old form saw Jones return to the starting line-up for Scotland’s 2020 Six Nations matches against Ireland and England, but failure to make any meaningful impact saw him dropped for the victories over Italy and France.

With captain and talisman Stuart Hogg the regular starting 15 for Scotland, Jones’ chances of filling that berth for the national team appear slim. Wilson, though, does not see that as a barrier to converting the centre to a full-back long term.

“The best thing for him to get selected for Scotland is to be playing,” Wilson told BBC Scotland. “I think his frustrations sometimes last year was that he wasn’t playing as much rugby.

“[Scotland head coach] Gregor Townsend will be fully aware he can play 15 and 13, and capable of playing both internationally, I believe.

“Things change very quickly in rugby. I don’t think it [playing 15] is doing him any harm. The key is for him to be on the field playing rugby and

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Cowboys’ Cedrick Wilson: Career day in Seattle

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Wilson caught five of seven targets for 107 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s 38-31 loss to the Seahawks.

The 25-year-old came into the game with only five catches for 46 yards in his career, but Wilson blew those numbers out of the water while scoring his first two TDs in the NFL. Both scores came on similar routes, as Wilson caught slants from Dak Prescott in the second and third quarters and took them to the house, with the receptions going for 40 and 42 yards, respectively. Despite the huge performance, he’s still the No. 4 man on the depth chart, and Prescott won’t attempt more than 50 passes or throw for over 400 yards every week. However, Wilson has at least demonstrated that if injuries ever allow him to move into a more prominent role, he may be able to take advantage.

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