Hervé Moulin

Hervé Moulin
Born 1950
Nationality France
Institution University of Glasgow
Field Game theory, Mathematical economics, Fair division, Social choice
Alma mater

University of Paris

École Normale Supérieure
Influences Marquis de Condorcet, Jean-Charles de Borda, John von Neumann
Contributions Random Assignment, Cost Sharing, Dominance Solvable Games
Awards Fellow of the Econometric Society, Council Member of the Game Theory Society, President of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Hervé Moulin (born in 1950 in Paris) is the Donald J. Robertson Chair of Economics at the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow.[1] He is known for his research contributions in mathematical economics, in particular in the fields of mechanism design, social choice, game theory and fair division.[2][3][4] He has written six books and over 100 peer-reviewed articles.[5][6]

Before joining the University of Glasgow, he was the George A. Peterkin Professor of Economics at Rice University (from 1999 to 2013):,[2] the James B. Duke Professor of Economics at Duke University (from 1989 to 1999)[2][7] and the University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech (from 1987 to 1989).[8]

He is a fellow of the Econometric Society since 1983,[9] and a Council Member of the Game Theory Society since 2000, and its Executive Vice-President for the term 2016 - 2018.[10][11] He also served as president of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare for the period of 1998 to 1999.[12] He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.[13]

His research has been supported in part by seven grants from the US National Science Foundation.[14] He collaborates as an adviser with the fair division website Spliddit, created by Ariel Procaccia.[15]

On the occasion of his 65th birthday, the Paris School of Economics and the Aix-Marseille University organised a conference in his honor, with Peyton Young, William Thomson, Salvador Barbera, and Moulin himself as speakers, among others.[16]


Moulin obtained his doctoral degree in Mathematics at the University of Paris in 1975[17] with a thesis on zero-sum games, which was published in French at the Mémoires de la Société Mathématique de France[18] and in English in the Journal of Mathematical Analysis and its Applications.[19]

On 1979, he published a seminal paper in Econometrica introducing the notion of dominance solvable games.[20] Dominance solvability is a solution concept for games which is based on an iterated procedure of deletion of dominated strategies by all participants. Dominance solvability is a stronger concept than Nash equilibrium because it does not require ex-ante coordination. Its only requirement is iterated common knowledge of rationality. His work on this concept was mentioned in Eric Maskin's Nobel Prize Lecture.[21]

One year later he proved an interesting result concerning the famous Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem,[22] which states that any voting procedure on the universal domain of preferences whose range contains more than two alternatives is either dictatorial or manipulable. Moulin proved that it is possible to define non-dictatorial and non-manipulable social choice functions in the restricted domain of single-peaked preferences, i.e. those in which there is a unique best option, and other options are better as they are closer to the favorite one. Moreover, he provided a characterization of such rules.[23] This paper inspired a whole literature on achieving strategy-proofness and fairness (even in a weak form as non-dictatorial schemes) on restricted domains of preferences.[24][25]

Moulin is also known for his seminal work in cost sharing[4][26][27] and assignment problems.[28][29] In particular, jointly with Anna Bogomolnaia, he proposed the random priority mechanism as a solution to the random assignment problem, which consists of dividing several goods among a number of persons. Random priority allows each person to "eat" her favorite shares, hence defining a probabilistic outcome. It always produces an outcome which is unambiguously efficient ex-ante, and thus has a strong claim over the popular random priority mechanism, also known as random serial dictatorship. The paper was published in 2001 in the Journal of Economic Theory. By summer of 2016, the article had 395 citations.[30]

Recently, he has been credited as the first proposer of the famous beauty contest game, also known as the guessing game, which shows that players fail to anticipate strategic behavior from other players. Experiments testing the equilibrium prediction of this game started the field of experimental economics.[31]


Moulin has published work jointly with Matthew O. Jackson,[32] Scott Shenker,[33] and Anna Bogomolnaia,[34] among many other academics.

See also


  1. "Hervé Moulin's Website at the University of Glasgow". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 Board of Editors; et al. (2003). "Hervé Moulin". Social Choice and Welfare. 20 (1): 1. doi:10.1007/s003550200215. JSTOR 41106500.
  3. Salles, Maurice (14 October 2005). "The Launching of 'Social Choice and Welfare' and the Creation of the 'Society for Social Choice and Welfare'". Social Choice and Welfare. 25 (2-3): 557–564. doi:10.1007/s00355-005-0018-6.
  4. 1 2 Koster, Maurice (22 November 2006). "The Moulin–Shenker Rule". Social Choice and Welfare. 29 (2): 271–293. doi:10.1007/s00355-006-0206-z.
  5. "Herve Moulin's publications on Google Scholar". Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  6. "Herve Moulin's publications on IDEAS REPEC". Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  7. Coats, edited by A.W. Bob (2000). The Development of Economics in Western Europe since 1945. London: Routledge. pp. 136–137. ISBN 978-0415202916. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  8. "List of Virginia Tech's Distinguished Professors". Virginia Tech Website. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  9. "The Econometric Society Fellows by January of 2015". The Econometric Society. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  10. "List of Council Members of the Game Theory Society". The Game Theory Society. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  11. "Elections of GTS Officers 2016". Game Theory Society Webpage. 31 August 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  12. "The Society for Social Choice and Welfare Current and Past Presidents". The Society for Social Choice and Welfare. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  13. "2015 Elected Fellows". The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  14. "Rice economist receives NSF grant". Rice University. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  15. "Spliddit: The Team". Spliddit Website. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  16. "Conférence en l'honneur d'Hervé Moulin". Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  17. Hervé Moulin at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  18. Moulin, Herve (1976). "Prolongement des jeux à deux joueurs de somme nulle. Une théorie abstraite des duels". Mémoires de la Société Mathématique de France. 45: 5–111. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  19. Moulin, Hervé (August 1976). "Extensions of two person zero sum games". Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications. 55 (2): 490–508. doi:10.1016/0022-247X(76)90178-5.
  20. Moulin, Herve (November 1979). "Dominance Solvable Voting Schemes". Econometrica. 47 (6): 1337. doi:10.2307/1914004. JSTOR 1914004.
  21. "Eric Maskin's Nobel Prize Lecture". Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  22. Laffont, Jean-Jacques. "William Vickrey: A Pioneer in the Economics of Incentives" (PDF). The Official Website of the Nobel Prize. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  23. Moulin, Herve (1980). "On Strategy-proofness and Single Peakedness". Public Choice. 35 (4): 437–455. doi:10.1007/BF00128122. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  24. Ed. by Kenneth J. Arrow; et al. (2003). Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare (1 ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier. pp. 760–780. ISBN 978-0-444-50894-2.
  25. Ed. by Robert J. Aumann; et al. (2006). Handbook of Game Theory (3 impr. ed.). Amsterdam: North-Holland. ISBN 978-0-444-89427-4.
  26. Roughgarden, Tim; Sundararajan, Mukund (1 June 2009). "Quantifying Inefficiency in Cost-sharing Mechanisms". Journal of the ACM. 56 (4): 1–33. doi:10.1145/1538902.1538907.
  27. Brenner, Janina; Schäfer, Guido (July 2008). "Group-strategyproof Cost Sharing mechanisms for Makespan and other Scheduling Problems". Theoretical Computer Science. 401 (1-3): 96–106. doi:10.1016/j.tcs.2008.03.025.
  28. Abdulkadiroğlu, Atila; Sönmez, Tayfun (September 2003). "Ordinal Efficiency and Dominated Sets of Assignments". Journal of Economic Theory. 112 (1): 157–172. doi:10.1016/S0022-0531(03)00091-7.
  29. Aziz, Haris; Brandt, Felix; Brill, Markus; Mestre, Julián (28 January 2015). "Computational aspects of random serial dictatorship". ACM SIGecom Exchanges. 13 (2): 26–30. doi:10.1145/2728732.2728735.
  30. https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=7kaIUXoAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=sra
  31. Rosemarie, Nagel (2016). "Inspired and inspiring: Hervé Moulin and the discovery of the beauty contest game". Mathematical Social Sciences. In press via Elsevier.
  32. Jackson, Matthew; Moulin, Hervé (June 1992). "Implementing a Public Project and Distributing its Cost". Journal of Economic Theory. 57 (1): 125–140. doi:10.1016/S0022-0531(05)80044-4.
  33. Moulin, Hervé; Shenker, Scott (September 1992). "Serial Cost Sharing". Econometrica. 60 (5): 1009–1037. doi:10.2307/2951537.
  34. Bogomolnaia, Anna; Moulin, Hervé (October 2001). "A New Solution to the Random Assignment Problem". Journal of Economic Theory. 100 (2): 295–328. doi:10.1006/jeth.2000.2710.

External links

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