13日死去したトーマス・シェリングについて、Tim Taylorがブログ記事を書いている

Thomas Schelling (1921-2016), who died earlier this week, shared the economics Nobel prize in 2005 "for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis." In some ways, he was best-known for his analysis of nuclear strategy, and the arguments expressed in his 19960 work, "The Strategy of Conflict." For example, the New York Times headlined its obituary, "Thomas C. Schelling, Master Theorist of Nuclear Strategy, Dies at 95." As William Grimes writes in the obituary:
"Professor Schelling analyzed superpower negotiations in the way that he analyzed the conflicts between, say, a blackmailer and his client, a parent and a child, or management and labor. In each case, he wrote, “there is a mutual dependence as well as opposition,” with each side seeking out tests of strength at less than crisis levels. Among other counterintuitive propositions he put forth, Professor Schelling suggested that one side in a negotiation can strengthen its position by narrowing its options, using as an example a driver in a game of chicken who rips the steering wheel from the steering column and brandishes it so his opponent can see that he no longer controls the car. He also argued that uncertain retaliation is more credible and more efficient than certain retaliation."
But Schelling has a remarkably fluid ability to bring strategic and game theory insights to bear on a very wide range of situations. Paul Samuelson, a great economist in his own right who also knew how to turn a phrase, once wrote: "In Japan Thomas Schelling would be named a national treasure. Age cannot slow down his creativity, nor custom stale his infinite variety."





Ranging from nuclear strategy to issues of segregation and integration suggests the ability of Thomas Schelling to range across a wide array of topics and approaches. His early work introduced the idea of a "focal point," which is an outcome that many people recognize based on preference and tradition. Thus, he asked people where they would meet a stranger in Manhattan, if they had not previously agreed on a time and place to meet, and found that there was (at that time) a focal point of meeting at the information booth in Grand Central Station at noon. For a period in the 1980s, he focused on how to encourage people to stop smoking. For many economists, the first time we started thinking seriously about carbon emissions and the risks of climate chaange as an economic issue was when Schelling, back in 1992, gave his American Economic Association Presidental Address on the subject "Some Economics of Global Warming" American Economic Review, 82: 1, March, pp. 1-14). Another insight associated with Schelling is that he was involved with formulating "The Origins of the Value of a Statistical Life Concept" (November 25, 2014).
For an overview of Schelling's earlier work, a useful starting point is a 1989 essay by Richard Zeckhauser in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, on the occasion of Schelling being named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association. Zeckhauser started the essay this way:
Thomas Crombie Schelling thinks about the essence of phenomena. In scanning everyday behavior, he sees patterns and paradoxes that others overlook. When each driver slows down almost imperceptibly for a look at a minor roadside distraction, he observes, the result can be a massive traffic tie-up. The world can be divided into weak and powerful parties, but in some situations excessive power can be a handicap. Someone who is overweight may pledge fealty to a strict diet, then cheat at night. Schelling assesses the fat man's intramural struggle with the thin man trying to get out, noting that, with variations in the context, the Jekyll-and-Hyde parable may apply to us all. Schelling distills such essences and demonstrates their presence in many important social phenomena. "It's hard to define or categorize Tom's work," notes James Coleman, the sociologist. "If you ask, 'Does he do research?' I have to answer 'No, not exactly.' Then if you ask what he does for a living, I have to answer that he lives by his wits."
核戦略から人種隔離や統合の問題に至るまで研究していたことは、トーマス・シェリングが様々なテーマや手法を幅広く扱うことができたことを示している。彼の初期の研究は「フォーカルポイント」という概念を導入したが、それは、嗜好と伝統に基づいて多くの人々が認識する結果である。彼は人々に対し、事前に時間と場所を決めていない場合に他人とマンハッタンのどこで会うかを尋ね、正午にグランドセントラル駅の案内所で会うというフォーカルポイントが(当時は)存在していたことを突き止めた。彼は、1980年代の一時期、人々に禁煙を促す方法を研究していた。多くの経済学者にとって、炭素排出と気候変動のリスクを経済問題として学界が真剣に考え始めたきっかけは、遡ること1992年にシェリングが「地球温暖化についての経済学」と題した米国経済学会会長講演を行った時である(American Economic Review, 82: 1, March, pp. 1-14)。シェリングに関係するもう一つの洞察は、「統計的な人命の価値算定の始まり」(Taylorブログの2014/11/25エントリ)に関与したことであった。