Professor Kenneth J. Arrow, 1921-2017

Professor Kenneth J. Arrow, 1912-2017

Professor Kenneth J. Arrow, Joan Kenney Professor Emeritus of Economics and Professor Emeritus of Operations Research at Stanford University died on 21 February in Stanford, at age 95. Universally acknowledged as one of the deepest social scientists of the 20th century (an international poll conducted in 1999 among economists voted him as the greatest economist of the 20th Century), Arrow made pioneering contributions to an unusually wide range of subjects, including health, education, and growth economics, general equilibrium theory, risk analysis, social choice, and more broadly intergenerational ethics.

Arrow's connection with the Faculty of Economics was enduring and deep. At the late Professor Frank Hahn's invitation he spent the 1963-1964 academic year as Overseas Visiting Fellow at Churchill College. He made many subsequent visits to Cambridge so as to see friends and also to work with Hahn, and lately with Professor Partha Dasgupta. His last visit with us was in June 2016. Arrow's close friendship with Frank Hahn led to their monumental 1971 treatise, General Competitive Analysis.

A recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from our University and an Honorary Fellowship of Churchill College, it should be a matter of pride that we have been able to call Professor Arrow one of us.


Photo credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service - Stanford News Service, CC BY 3.0, Link