Brian Arthur at SFI, c. 2012

SFI External Professor W. Brian Arthur has been selected as a 2019 Citation Laureate by the Web of Science group “for research revealing network effects in economic systems that produce increasing returns."

Arthur says that many of his most-cited papers were written at SFI, where he and other SFI colleagues first began combining complexity research with economics. Arthur’s study of positive feedbacks and their role in magnifying small, random events in the economy has gone on to become a basis of our understanding of the high-tech economy.

According to the Web of Science, the Laureate designation celebrates world-class researchers whose work is typically in the top 0.01% globally most-cited publications — demonstrating research influence comparable to Nobel Prize recipients. The annual Citation Laureates list was first published by Web of Science in 2002. Typically about 20 Laureates are announced each year, and 50 have gone on to become Nobel laureates.

Arthur says the designation is a welcome “indication that complexity economics is getting noticed.” As for it predicting a Nobel prize, he jokes, “don’t hold your breath.”

SFI’s 2019 November symposium—“New Complexity Economics”— will take up work by Arthur and other complexity economics pioneers, who first started working on heterodox approaches to economics over 30 years ago. Now that those approaches are becoming increasingly mainstream, the special symposium will “explore the new frontier of complexity economics."

Download the full report— Citation Laureates 2019— from the Web of Science (email required)