Perfect Match

20 Oct,2012 07:43 IST

Perfect Match

US economists win the Nobel; and more.
Perfect Match

WINNERS: Lloyd Shapley (left) and Alvin Roth (AP)

To a few at least, this year’s Nobel prize in economics looked like a Jane Austen theme. Well, can’t blame them. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences recognised American economists Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley for their studies on, roughly put, matchmaking and how it applies to market dynamics, among other things. Their works on the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design prescribe the best possible way to allocate resources, such as in school admissions, organs to patients who need transplants or even how people choose spouses. Both have made abundant use of the game theory. Interestingly, Shapley studied at Princeton with John Nash, the 1994 Economics Nobel winner and game theory pioneer. Though they worked independently, the Swedish Academy says Shapely and Roth, through their research, “helped improve the performance of many markets”.

Second Attempt
The Tata-owned Indian Hotels has made another move to buy the elusive luxury hotel chain Orient-Express. The new move comes five years after the chain rejected a bid from the Tatas. Now, the all-cash offer is valued at an estimated $1.86 billion. Indian Hotels, which owns about 7 per cent already in Orient-Express, has filed the takeover proposal with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
CROWDED: A UN report rates Mumbai and Delhi low on economic well-being (BW pic by Subhabrata Das)
Report Card
The UN-Habitat report, ‘State of the World’s Cities 2012-2013’, rates Mumbai and Delhi low (52 and 58) in terms of economic well-being indicators such as productivity, infrastructure, quality of life, equity and eco sustainability. The City Prosperity Index, part of the report, ranks 95 cities, including Vienna, New York, Toronto and London.

Simply South
A report says the media and entertainment industry in south India is likely to grow at 14 per cent annually to reach Rs 36,005 crore by 2015-16 from Rs 21,190 crore now, driven by factors such as rising demand, high technology adoption, etc. The report, ‘South Indian Media and Entertainment Industry’, was prepared by consultancy Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India and industry body Ficci.

Permission To Tap
A government panel on the proposed privacy law recommended that state-run agencies should seek judicial nod before tapping phones of individuals. In emergency cases, agencies can tap phones for 15-20 days, but they have to approach courts to continue doing so. 

The Slowing Dragon
China’s economy slowed for the seventh straight quarter in July-September, missing the government’s target for the first time since the 2009 global crisis. But another set of data showed a year-end rebound. The National Bureau of Statistics said China’s GDP grew 7.4 per cent year on year in Q3.

The Falling Out
Nike has ended its $7.5-million-a-year endorsement deal with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. Although the sports goods maker had stood by him when the latest doping charges emerged, it has now decided to end the 16-year-deal with the controversial cyclist.

Booked On India
Facebook says its active user base in India has grown eight times to 65 million, up from eight million in 2010 when it opened shop here. The country is among the top five user markets for the social media giant.

New Avatar
After being in print for about 80 years, popular US magazine Newsweek will go online-only from early 2013 onwards, according to its editor Tina Brown.
MILESTONE: Handsets galore (Bloomberg)
The Smart Billion
One out of every seven persons globally carries a smartphone now. A report by consultants Strategy Analytics says global smartphone sales have crossed 1 billion for the first time in the third quarter and are set to double by 2015-end.

Big Hire
Search giant Yahoo hired a Google senior executive to be its chief operating officer. Henrique de Castro, who will oversee Yahoo’s global sales, operations, media and business development, will enjoy a $58 million compensation package, according to Yahoo.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 29-10-2012)

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