Arrow, Kenneth (Joseph)(1921– ) economist; born in New York City. He was recognized early in his career for his "impossibility theorem," a study of collective choice that employs the notational system of logic to illustrate that more than two options in a democratic majority rule leads to a stalemate. He worked to establish the properties of general equilibrium including its existence, significance, and relevance. After a brief period at the Cowles Commission at the University of Chicago, he taught at Stanford University (1949–68 and 1979) and at Harvard University (1968–79). He shared the Nobel Prize in economics (1972) with Sir John Hicks.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.