Maurice Félix Charles Allais, 1911-2010, was a French economist, physicist and Professor of Economics at the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris (Mines ParisTech). His pioneer contributions to the theory of markets and to the efficient utilization of resources, had him win the Noble Prize in Economic Sciences in 1988. He defined himself as a “Liberal Socialist”
Allais took Léon Walras’ and Vilfredo Pareto’s previous works regarding equilibrium and market efficiency, and developed them with a more rigorous mathematical formulation back up. He is also known for the Allais paradox, which is a breach in the decision theory, as it fails the expected utility theory. He was able to apply his theory of behaviour under uncertainty in the general equilibrium model, by demonstrating that a competitive allocation of risks leads to an optimal allocation of resources. Allais also made contributions in the area of monetary policy and studied the influence of non-rational behaviour in economic decisions, serving as an inspiration for Kahneman´s work.
Allais’ papers, always written in French, that stand out among his major works are: “Á la recherche d’une discipline économique” (In Search of an Economic Discipline), 1943, and “Économie et intérêt” (Economy and Interest), 1947.