W. BRIAN ARTHUR is a leading economist and complexity thinker. He is best known for his pioneering work on positive feedbacks or increasing returns in the economy—what happens when products that gain market share find it easier to gain further market share—and their role in locking markets in to the domination of a single player.
Arthur is also one of the pioneers of the science of complexity—the science of how patterns and structures self-organize. He is a member of the Founders Society of the Santa Fe Institute and in 1988 ran its first research program. He has served on SFI's Science Board for 18 years and its Board of Trustees for 10 years. He is currently External Professor at SFI.
Arthur held the Morrison Chair of Economics and Population Studies at Stanford from 1983 to 1996. He holds degrees in operations research, economics, mathematics, and electrical engineering.
Arthur was awarded the inaugural Lagrange Prize in Complexity Science in 2008, and the Schumpeter Prize in Economics in 1990. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, 1987-88, Fellow of the Econometric Society, and IBM Faculty Fellow.
He holds honorary doctorates from the National Univ. of Ireland (Galway) 2000, and Lancaster University (UK) 2009.
He is the author of The Nature of Technology: What it Is and How it Evolves, Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy, and Complexity and the Economy.