Summary: A Special Symposium in Memory of Kenneth J. Arrow

On December 4, 2017, the Center on Global Economic Governance – in collaboration with the Program for Economic Research, the Columbia University Press, and the Finance Division at the Columbia Business School – hosted A Special Symposium in Memory of Kenneth J. Arrow at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Kenneth J. Arrow, who earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University, incontrovertibly shaped the field of economics over the past sixty years through his innovative ideas, style of research, and breadth of vision. The symposium, which featured a number of Arrow’s closes colleagues and former students, paid academic tribute to Kenneth J. Arrow, celebrating his pioneering scholarship and innovative spirit.

The symposium – which featured leading economists including Nobel Laureates Joseph E. Stiglitz, Eric S. Maskin, Bengt Holmstrom, and Oliver Hart – discussed Arrow’s widespread contributions to economics in the topics of social choice, adverse selection, moral hazard, risk aversion, general equilibrium theory, education, productivity, and growth. Many of the panelists having a personal relationship with Arrow, began their presentations with a fond anecdote of Arrow’s passion for learning or commitment to social equality. At the conclusion of the symposium, Glenn C. Loury – Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences, Professor of Economics, and Professor of Public and International Affairs at Brown University – delivered the 10th Annual Kenneth J. Arrow Lecture on “Persistent Racial Inequality in the U.S.: An Economic Theorist’s Account.”

- Patrick Maxwell, SIPA '19