[[{“value”:”In 2000 the Clay Mathematics Institute offered a $1 million prize to anyone who could solve any of the seven Millennium Problems. Namely, the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture, Hodge conjecture, Navier–Stokes existence and smoothness, P versus NP problem, Riemann hypothesis, Yang–Mills existence and mass gap, and the Poincaré conjecture. Only the Poincare conjecture has been solved. As an economist, it is

The post An Economist Solves the Millennium Prize Problems appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.”}]]

In 2000 the Clay Mathematics Institute offered a $1 million prize to anyone who could solve any of the seven Millennium Problems. Namely, the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture, Hodge conjecture, Navier–Stokes existence and smoothness, P versus NP problem, Riemann hypothesis, Yang–Mills existence and mass gap, and the Poincaré conjecture. Only the Poincare conjecture has been solved.

As an economist, it is clear to me why the Millennium Problems haven’t been solved. Incentives! Due to inflation the $1 million prize is diminishing in value every year. Solving the Riemann hypothesis today, for example, will only net you in real terms about half of what it would have in 2000 (about $565k). Half a million? Won’t even get you a decent house today!

Does the Clay Mathematics Institute want to reduce the incentive to solve the problems over time? Did they calculate that the problems would get easier every year by the rate of inflation? I don’t think so. If instead of offering a nominal prize, the Clay Mathematics Institute has invested the prize fund in the S&P 500 they could today be offering over $4 million to solve each of the Millennium Prize Problems.

At $4 million, I bet the prize problems could be polished off in hardly any time at all. QED.

The post An Economist Solves the Millennium Prize Problems appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

Economics, Millennium Problems

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