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A University of California at Berkeley professor who won a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences passed away this week following a period of failing health, according to the university.

Oliver Williamson, who died Thursday at the age of 87, won the Nobel Prize in 2009 for what UC Berkeley officials said were his insights into what is known as the “make or buy” decision, in which businesses choose whether to outsource a process, service or other function or keep the work in-house.

Professor Rich Lyons, UC Berkeley’s chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer, said:

“Williamson’s work permanently changed how economists view organizations.”

University of California at Berkeley Oliver Williamson poses with his Nobel medal. Williamson died in May 2020 at the age of 87.

Williamson donated a large portion of his Nobel Prize to the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business to create a new endowed faculty chair in the economics of organization, and the Haas School has also named its highest faculty honor after him as the Williamson Award.

Lyons, who was the dean of the Haas school when Williamson won the Nobel Prize, said he would remember his colleague for his work in teaching others.

Lyons said:

“For all of his intellectual creativity, I most often think of Olly as a person who lifts others. The ripple effects that he has had on his field through his students and colleagues could well be as large as the enormous impact his own work had.”

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