The 7th Kenneth J. Arrow Lecture

November 18, 2014 - 1:00pm - 2:30pm
International Affairs Building, 15th Floor
W 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
See video


Prices and Decentralization without Convexity
Delivered by Paul Milgrom
Prices can often guide decentralized resource allocation effectively even in environments with non-convexities or where exact computations of optimal allocations are intractably hard. The new approaches, involving collaboration between economists and computer scientists, are not just about approximate optimization, but also about creating price signals to guide investments in resources for the future.
A discussion will follow with Jay Sethuraman, Joseph Stiglitz and Kenneth J. Arrow.


Speaker Biographies
Kenneth J. Arrow is the Joan Kenney Professor of Economics and Professor of Operations Research, emeritus at Stanford University. He is a Nobel Prize-winning economist whose work has been primarily in economic theory and operations, focusing on areas including social choice theory, risk bearing, medical economics, general equilibrium analysis, inventory theory, and the economics of information and innovation. He was one of the first economists to note the existence of a learning curve, and he also showed that under certain conditions an economy reaches a general equilibrium. In 1972, together with Sir John Hicks, he won the Nobel Prize in economics, for his pioneering contributions to general equilibrium theory and welfare theory. Professor Arrow has served on the economics faculties of the University of Chicago, Harvard and Stanford. In addition to the Nobel Prize, he has received the American Economic Association's John Bates Clark Medal. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. He received a BS from City College, an MA and PhD from Columbia University, and holds approximately 20 honorary degrees.
Paul Milgrom is the Shirley and Leonard Ely professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Economics at Stanford University and professor, by courtesy, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a winner of the 2008 Nemmers Prize in Economics and the 2012 BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge award. Milgrom is best known for his contributions to the microeconomic theory, his pioneering innovations in the practical design of multi-item auctions, and the extraordinary successes of his students and academic advisees. According to his BBVA Award citation: “Paul Milgrom has made seminal contributions to an unusually wide range of fields of economics including auctions, market design, contracts and incentives, industrial economics, economics of organizations, finance, and game theory.” According to a count by Google Scholar, Milgrom’s books and articles have received more than 60,000 citations.
Jay Sethuraman joined Columbia University's Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department in 1999. His research interests are in the areas of scheduling, discrete optimization and its applications, and applied probability. He is currently the Director of the PHD program for Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department.
Joseph E. Stiglitz is University Professor, founder and Co-president of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, and Faculty Associate at the Center on Global Economic Governance, at Columbia University. He also served as the Chair of the Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, appointed by the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, in 2009. He earned his PhD from MIT in 1967, became a full professor at Yale in 1970, and in 1979 was awarded the John Bates Clark Award, given biennially by the American Economic Association to the economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the field. Professor Stiglitz was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) from 1993-95, during the Clinton administration, and served as CEA chairman from 1995-97. He then became Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 1997-2000. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was also a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
In connection with the 7th Arrow Lecture, please join us on Monday, November 17 for the Arrow Book Series Launch