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Kenneth Arrow (Kenneth Joseph Arrow)

Kenneth Arrow

From 1946 to 1949 Kenneth Arrow spent his time partly as a graduate student at Columbia and partly as a research associate at the Cowles Commission for Research in Economics at the University of Chicago. During that time he also held the rank of Assistant Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago and worked at the RAND Corporation in California. He left Chicago to take up the post of Acting Assistant Professor of Economics and Statistics at Stanford University. In 1951, he earned his Ph.D. from Columbia. He served in the government on the staff of the Council of Economic Advisers in the 1960s with Robert Solow. In 1968, he left Stanford for the position of Professor of Economics at Harvard University. It was during his tenure here that he received the Nobel Prize in Economics. Kenneth Arrow returned to Stanford in 1979 and became the Joan Kenney Professor of Economics and Professor of Operations Research. He retired in 1991. As a Fulbright Distinguished Chair, in 1995 he taught Economics at the University of Siena. He was also a founding member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and a member of the Science Board of Santa Fe Institute. At various stages in his career he was a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. Five of his former students have gone on to become Nobel Prize winners. These include Eric Maskin, John Harsanyi, Michael Spence and Roger Myerson. A collection of Arrow’s papers is housed at the Rubenstein Library at Duke University.

Kenneth Arrow was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal in 1957 and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1959. He was the joint winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics with John Hicks in 1972 and the 1986 recipient of the von Neumann Theory Prize. He was one of the recipients of the 2004 National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest scientific honor, presented by President George W. Bush for his contributions to research on the problem of making decisions using imperfect information and his research on bearing risk. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Chicago (1967), the University of Vienna (1971) the City University of New York (1972). On June 2, 1995 he received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Social Sciences at Uppsala University, Sweden. He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 2006. Kenneth Arrow died in his Palo Alto, California home on February 21, 2017 at the age of 95.

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  • August, 23, 1921
  • USA
  • New York, New York


  • February, 21, 2017
  • USA
  • Palo Alto, California

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