William Brian Arthur (1945) is an economist credited with influencing and describing the modern theory of increasing returns. He is an authority on economics in relation to complexity theory, technology and financial markets. Presently, he is on the external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute, and a Visiting Researcher at the Intelligent Systems Lab at PARC (Formerly Xerox PARC).
Arthur received his Ph.D. in Operations Research (1973) and an M. A. in Economics (1973) from the University of California, Berkeley.
At age 37, Dr. Arthur was the youngest endowed chair holder at Stanford University.
Arthur is the former Morrison Professor of Economics and Population Studies; Professor of Human Biology, Stanford University, 1983-1996. He is the co-founder of the Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies at Stanford.
Arthur is noted for his seminal works "studying the impacts of positive feedback or increasing returns in economies, and how these increasing returns magnify small, random occurrences in the market place." These principles are especially significant in technology-specific industries.
Arthur is one of the early economic researchers in the emerging complexity field. Specifically, his complexity studies focused on the "economics of high technology; how business evolves in an era of high technology; cognition in the economy; and financial markets."
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