John Harsanyi

John Harsanyi
John Harsanyi.jpg
Harsányi János Károly

(1920-05-29)May 29, 1920
DiedAugust 9, 2000(2000-08-09) (aged 80)
NationalityUnited States
Alma materUniversity of Lyon
University of Budapest
University of Sydney
Stanford University
Known forBayesian games
Utilitarian ethics
Equilibrium selection
Spouse(s)Anne Klauber
AwardsNobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (1994)

First prize in Eötvös mathematics competition

John von Neumann Award
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley
Wayne State University
Australian National University
University of Queensland
Doctoral advisorKenneth Arrow
InfluencedKenneth Binmore

John Charles Harsanyi (Hungarian: Harsányi János Károly; May 29, 1920 – August 9, 2000) was a Hungarian-American economist.

He is best known for his contributions to the study of game theory and its application to economics, specifically for his developing the highly innovative analysis of games of incomplete information, so-called Bayesian games. He also made important contributions to the use of game theory and economic reasoning in political and moral philosophy (specifically utilitarian ethics[1]) as well as contributing to the study of equilibrium selection. For his work, he was a co-recipient along with John Nash and Reinhard Selten of the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. According to György Marx he was one of The Martians.[2]

Early life

Harsanyi was born on May 29, 1920 in Budapest, Hungary, the son of Alice Harsányi (née Gombos) and Károly Harsányi, a pharmacy owner.[3] His parents converted from Judaism to Catholicism a year before he was born.[4] He attended high school at the Lutheran Gymnasium in Budapest. In high school, he became one of the best problem solvers of the KöMaL, the Mathematical and Physical Monthly for Secondary Schools. Founded in 1893, this periodical is generally credited with a large share of Hungarian students' success in mathematics. He also won the first prize in the Eötvös mathematics competition for high school students.[5]

Although he wanted to study mathematics and philosophy, his father sent him to France in 1939 to enroll in chemical engineering at the University of Lyon. However, because of the start of World War II, Harsanyi returned to Hungary to study pharmacology at the University of Budapest (today: Eötvös Loránd University), earning a diploma in 1944.[6] As a pharmacology student, Harsanyi escaped conscription into the Hungarian Army which, as a person of Jewish descent, would have meant forced labor.

However, in 1944 (after the fall of the Horthy regime and the seizure of power by the Arrow Cross Party) his military deferment was cancelled and he was compelled to join a forced labor unit on the Eastern Front.[5][7] After seven months of forced labor, when the German authorities decided to deport his unit to a concentration camp in Austria, John Harsanyi managed to escape and found sanctuary for the rest of the war in a Jesuit house.[5][6][8]

Other Languages
العربية: جون هارساني
azərbaycanca: Con Xarsani
تۆرکجه: جان هارسانی
беларуская: Джон Харсаньі
български: Джон Харшани
català: John Harsanyi
čeština: John Harsanyi
Deutsch: John Harsanyi
español: John Harsanyi
euskara: John Harsanyi
français: John Harsanyi
Gàidhlig: John Harsanyi
հայերեն: Ջոն Հարշանյի
Bahasa Indonesia: John Charles Harsanyi
italiano: John Harsanyi
עברית: ג'ון הרסני
Nederlands: John Harsanyi
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: John Harsanyi
português: John Harsanyi
română: John Harsanyi
slovenčina: John Harsanyi
svenska: John Harsanyi
Türkçe: John Harsanyi
українська: Джон Харсані
Tiếng Việt: John Harsanyi
Yorùbá: John Harsanyi