Kenneth Arrow is one of the most respected and admired living economists in the world. He is the winner of both a Nobel Prize in Economics (1972) and a National Medal of Science (2004). A pioneer in the application of mathematics to the science of economics, his theory of economic equilibrium and his welfare theory provide the foundations for much of the practice of economics today. Arrow’s early research leading to a systematic understanding of the values and limitations of private enterprise earned him a Nobel Prize at age 51, the youngest person at that time to have received such an honor. His research on decision-making based on imperfect information and risk earned him the National Medal of Science.
He has made extraordinary contributions to the understanding of how groups and whole societies make decisions in the face of incomplete information. One of his most important contributions to welfare theory is the Arrow Impossibility Theorem, which postulates that it is impossible to construct a social welfare function out of individual preference functions. That early work on equilibrium still stands as one of the reasons many economists oppose price controls today. His current research is in the areas of environment and growth, equilibrium under monopolistic competition, and income distribution.
Professor Arrow’s research and its significance will be presented in a talk by John Shoven, the Charles Schwab Professor in Economics, Director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and Senior Fellow (by courtesy) at the Hoover Institution.
Free, open to the public, at Cubberley Auditorium, School of Education