Alvin Roth papers, 1969-1998

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Roth, Alvin E., 1951-
Alvin Roth (born 1951) is a Nobel Prize winner and the Craig and Susan McCaw Professor of Economics at Stanford University. This collection documents his professional life through his correspondence, writings, research, and faculty activities. It was acquired as part of the Economists' Papers Archive.
20.1 Linear Feet (26 boxes.)
57 Megabytes (One set.)
Material in English.
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

This collection covers Roth's early career at the University of Pittsburgh, including his research and correspondence from that period, as well as drafts of some of his well-cited articles and writings. Approximately one-half of the material lies in the Correspondence and Working Papers series, which includes professional correspondence and many drafts of scholarly articles. This arrangement replicates Roth's original filing system, which offers insight into his communication and collaboration style. Notable correspondents include Roy Weintraub, Robert Aumann, Ido Erev, Uriel Rothblum, and many more. Also included are various subject files, including Winner's Curse, Matching, and Learning.

Another notable component of the collection is the Writings and Research series, which includes working drafts and data printouts of his work in game theory and its real-world applications.

The Writings by Others series has some overlap with the Correspondence and Working Papers series, but for the most part, the former includes only the article from Roth's fellow economists, without the collaborative or feedback aspect present in the latter series.

The Teaching and Coursework series includes Roth's lecture notes and teaching tools, such as transparencies. His own coursework from Stanford University is also present, including notes, exams, syllabi, and lectures on topics such as microeconomics, competitive strategies, game theory, and choice theory.

Finally, the Grants series includes application material, correspondence, reports, and financials for various grants.

Biographical / historical:

Alvin Roth (born 1951) is a white American academic economist who was born in New York City. He graduated from Columbia University in 1971, then earned a masters (1973) and PhD (1974) in operations research from Stanford University. He went on to teach economics and business administration at the University of Illinois (1974-1982), the University of Pittsburgh (1982-1998), Harvard University (1998-2012), and Stanford University (2012-present).

Roth's work focuses on game theory, market design, and experimental economics. He has worked on a variety of real-world projects, including the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) system, responsible for matching medical residents with respective programs; the New York City and Boston public school systems' high school assignment selection methods; and the New England Program for kidney exchanges between incompatible partners. He is a Guggenheim Fellow (1983-1984), an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (1984-1986), and a fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has won the Texas Instruments' Foundation Founders' Prize (1980) and the Operations Research Society of America's Lanchester Prize (1991). In 2012, he and Lloyd Shapley won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their work in "the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design." He has authored numerous books and over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Acquisition information:
The Alvin Roth papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library as gifts between 2011-2012.
Processing information:

Processed by Meghan Lyon and Carrie Mills, August 2011; Meghan Lyon and Nicole Rudden, October 2012.

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, August 2011.

Electronic records processed by Zachary Tumlin, June 2023.

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2011-0159 and 2012-0128.


The Alvin Roth papers are arranged into six series: Correspondence and Working Papers, Writings and Research, Writings by Others, Teaching and Coursework, Grants, and Electronic Records.

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The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the Rubenstein Library's Citations, Permissions, and Copyright guide.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Alvin Roth papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.