The 2020 Nobel Prize in economics was awarded Monday to two Stanford professors “for improvements to auction theory and invention of new auction formats.” The Los Angeles Times reports that the two winners, Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson, were announced at a time when much of the world is experiencing the worst recession since World War II because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The award, formally known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, caps a week of Nobel Prizes announcements.