You can hate him but just cannot ignore him. The Prize for 2014 has been given to Prof Jean Tirole of Toulouse 1 Capitole University.
There were two reactions from my friends. First said never heard of him and second had perhaps only heard of him. The first one is working in the elite finance industry and second is a PhD student in economics. I mean why would a finance professional be interested in anything but markets and how can a PhD student ignore Jean Tirole?
Doing a PhD, the name Tirole keeps coming to haunt you quite often. His stamp on the subject is so vast that you just cannot avoid him in your coursework. He has written textbooks specifically for PhD students in industrial organisation, game theory, finance, banking etc and are hugely recommended. If this is not enough, his large number of papers are obviously there. The sheer work he has produced makes one scratch his/her head if all this is real or surreal? And then most of his papers/books are not for the faint hearted. The struggle to get through a few pages is an enormous task given the math and complexity involved.
So a really interesting choice. As this second friend said- this is the closest a graduate student has ever felt to the prize winner. Most of the time, even graduate students do not know the works of the choices in a given year unless you have specialised in the area. But with Prof Tirole this is a rarity. If a Phd student has completely missed Prof Tirole then either he/she is lucky or needs to redo his coursework.
Prof Tirole has influenced a lot of fields and continues to dominate the space. Even if you ignore the math, his illustrations in industrial organisation are quite interesting and obvious as well. I guess now Prof Tirole should also write a book for general public as well,,,