Arrow Lectures

Ken Arrow introducing Thomas Piketty at a 2016 Arrow Lecture

Ken Arrow introducing Thomas Piketty at a 2016 Arrow Lecture

The Arrow Lecture Series on Ethics and Leadership honors the late Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow, the Joan Kenney Professor of Economics and Professor of Operations Research, Emeritus.

Professor Arrow made many contributions to welfare economics, social choice theory and collective decision-making. He was also a founding member of the Ethics in Society Undergraduate Honors program. He passed away in 2017. Kenneth Arrow, one of the greatest economists of the 20th century, died in 2017 at the age of 95. He was of the generation of economists whose ideas were formed by the dislocation and turmoil of the Great Depression and World War II, a generation that includes John Nash, Paul Samuelson, Harold Hotelling, and Milton Friedman. Now when so much of economics is straightjacketed by a failure to take account of ethical considerations, Arrow’s work demonstrates that economics is fundamentally a moral science. Whether tackling climate change, international security, healthcare provision, inequality, or racial prejudice, for Ken, economics was first and foremost a means to help improve human well-being. Indeed, his focus on well-being led him to consider the importance of trust and moral codes, as well as government regulations, for market behavior. Homo economicus cannot be out for himself alone. Read more of Debra Satz's tribute.


In 2005, Patrick Byrne endowed the Arrow Lecture Series in Ethics and Leadership. Byrne is the founder and CEO of Overstock.com and he holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford.    

Upcoming Event

The 2023-24 Arrow Lecture will feature Raj Chetty, the William A. Ackman Professor of Public Economics at Harvard University. He is also the Director of Opportunity Insights, which uses “big data” to understand how we can give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances of succeeding. The event will take place Wednesday, March 13, 2024, from 4:30 - 6 p.m. PST at the Oberndorf Event Center in the Graduate School of Business. More details and event registration to come. 

Past Events

Untold Stories of the Conservation Movement:  Race, Power, and Privilege
Date
Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Location:
VIRTUAL
Is a Responsible Conservatism Still Possible? Was It Ever?
Date
Thursday, February 13, 2020, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location:
Cubberley Auditorium, 485 Lasuen Mall, Stanford
Is Economic Growth a Moral Imperative?
Date
Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Location:
Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Koret-Taube Conference Center
Opportunities and Ethics of Editing Genomes: A CRISPR-Inspired Conversation
Date
Thursday, January 24, 2019, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location:
CEMEX Auditorium, Graduate School of Business
Samuel Bowles / The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives are No Substitute for Good Citizens
Date
Monday, February 5, 2018, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Location:
Bechtel Conference Room, Encina Hall
Andrew Solomon / Far and Away: How Travel Can Change the World
Date
Thursday, May 25, 2017, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location:
CEMEX Auditorium
Thomas Piketty / Capital in the 21st Century
Date
Friday, October 23, 2015, 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Location:
Memorial Auditorium
Esther Duflo: Hope, Aspirations and the Design of the Fight Against Poverty
Date
Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Location:
Tresidder Oak West Lounge
Arrow Lecture: Dani Rodrik (International Political Economy, Harvard)
Date
Thursday, May 24, 2012, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Location:
Annenberg Auditorium, 435 Lasuen Mall
Arrow Lecture: Amartya Sen (Nobel Laureate and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard)
Date
Monday, May 2, 2011, 5:30pm
Location:
Cubberley Auditorium, 485 Lasuen Mall (seating capacity: 400)