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Decision Sciences: How the Game is Played

The Fruits of Economic Research Are Everywhere

Fruits of Economic Research Are Everywhere Starting in the 1960s, with support from NSF, Charles R. Plott of the California Institute of Technology made advances in game theory that paved the way for practical applications three decades later. Here he outlines the practical relevance of NSF-supported economics research:

"The fruits of economic research are everywhere. Because NSF is the only dedicated source of funding in the United States for basic research in the economic sciences, its impact has been large. We see it in the successful application of game theory to the design of the FCC auctions of licenses for new telecommunications services.

More broadly, we see the impact of NSF-supported work in some of the most important economic trends of our lifetimes, such as deregulation of airlines and other industries, nongovernmental approaches to environmental protection and the liberalization of world-wide trade. The recent reexamination of the Consumer Price Index and how it should be measured relies heavily on NSF-sponsored basic research on price indices.

In economics it is easy to find problems that are not solved, and perhaps are not solvable in any scientific sense. Yet measured in a cost-benefit sense, the achievements of economic research stand against those of any science."

—Charles R. Plott

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NSF Lends Support
Into the Laboratory
Practical Payoffs
Polls, Markets, and Allocations
Real-World Decision Making
Questioning Utility Theory
Why We Make Foolish Decisions
The Fruits of Economic Research Are Everywhere
All in a Day's Work
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