Thursday July 28/11:15/Grande Ballroom

Invited Presentation 10

Chair: Barbara L. Keyfitz, University of Houston

Nonlinearities, Random Events, and Complexity in the Economy: If History were Replayed, might Silicon Valley have been Somewhere Else?

In systems with nonlinearities and positive feedbacks at the local level, very many "solutions" are usually possible -- very many long run structures may form. Typically one of these structure "emerges" over time by the action of small, "probabilistic" events. The speaker will show a class of nonlinear stochastic processes that captures this phenomenon; illustrate it with several examples from the economy; and relate it to ideas in the new field of complexity.

W. Brian Arthur, Citibank Professor, Santa Fe Institute and Morrison Professor of Population Studies and Economics, Stanford University

W. Brian Arthur is Citibank Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, also Dean and Virginia Morrison Professor of Population Studies and Economics at Stanford University. He holds a Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley in Operations Research, and M.S. degrees in Economics and Mathematics. He is the author of many papers on economics, probability theory, operations research, and population dynamics.

Dr. Arthur is best known for his work on positive feedbacks or increasing returns in the economy and on their role in magnifying small, random events. He is keenly interested in nonlinear stochastic systems, and in the economics of high technology. For his work in increasing returns, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1987, and the Schumpeter Prize in Economics in 1990. For the last several years, he has been interested in issues of learning and adaptation under bounded rationality in the economy, especially as applied to pattern recognition and inductive reasoning.

Dr. Arthur was the first director of the Santa Fe Institute's Economics Program, and he currently serves on the Board of the Institute.