Kenneth Arrow


Kenneth Arrow : biography

August 23, 1921 –
1983a, v. 1. Social Choice and Justice. and chapter-preview ISBN 0-674-13760-4
1983b, v. 2. General Equilibrium. and scroll to chapter-preview
1984a, v. 3. Individual Choice under Certainty and Uncertainty. and scroll to chapter-preview
1984b, v. 4. The Economics of Information. and chapter-preview
1985a, v. 5. Production and Capital. and chapter-preview
1985b, v. 6. Applied Economics. and scroll to chapter-preview
  • Arrow, Kenneth J. (1987). "Rationality of self and others in an economic system," in R. M. Hogarth and M. W. Reder (eds.), Rational Choice. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Arrow, Kenneth J. (1994). "Methodological Individualism and Social Knowledge", American Economic Review, 84(2), pp.
  • Arrow, Kenneth J. (2008). "Arrow’s theorem." & "Hotelling, Harold (1895–1973)." in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume, Palgrave Macmillan Publishing,
  • Kenneth J. Arrow and Gérard Debreu, ed. (2002)Landmark Papers in General Equilibrium Theory, Social Choice and Welfare, Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84064-569-9.


Arrow was born on August 23, 1921, in New York City, to parents of Romanian Jewish origins. His family was very supportive of his education.

He graduated from Townsend Harris High School and then earned a Bachelor’s degree from the City College of New York in 1940 in mathematics, where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon. At Columbia University, he received a Master’s degree in 1941. From 1946 to 1949 he 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. In 1951 he earned his Ph.D. from Columbia.

Arrow is brother to the economist Anita Summers, uncle to economist Larry Summers, and brother-in-law of the late economists Robert Summers and Paul Samuelson.

Arrow and his wife Selma have two children, sons David and Andrew, both actors. Andrew is married to actress Donna Lynne Champlin.