Jonathan Welburn

Photo of Jonathan Welburn
Operations Researcher; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office

Education

Ph.D. in decision science & operations research, University of Wisconsin – Madison; BSc in industrial & systems engineering and economics, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Overview

Jonathan Welburn is a RAND researcher in the fields of operations research and computational economics and teaches at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His research explores the topics of systemic risk in economic systems, supply chain risks, cyber security, and deterrence with the central theme of elucidating the spread of risk in complex and interdependent systems and potential policy solutions.

Recent Projects

  • Strategic Deterrence in Cyberspace Through Game Theory
  • Systemic Cyber Risk
  • Cybersecurity of Air Force industrial supply chains
  • The Health and Economic Impacts of Nonpharmaceutical Interventions to Address COVID-19

Selected Publications

Jonathan William Welburn, Aaron Strong, Florentine Eloundou Nekoul, Justin Grana, Krystyna Marcinek, Osonde A. Osoba, Nirabh Koirala, Claude Messan Setodji, Systemic Risk in the Broad Economy: Interfirm Networks and Shocks in the U.S. Economy, RAND Corporation (RR-4185-RC), 2020

Jonathan William Welburn and Aaron Strong, Systemic Cyber Risk and Aggregate Impacts, Risk Analysis (WR-) (forthcoming)

Vardavas, Raffaele, Aaron Strong, Jennifer Bouey, Jonathan William Welburn, Pedro Nascimento de Lima, Lawrence Baker, Keren Zhu, Michelle Priest, Lynn Hu, and Jeanne S. Ringel,, The Health and Economic Impacts of Nonpharmaceutical Interventions to Address COVID-19: A Decision Support Tool for State and Local Policymakers, RAND Corporation, 2020. (TL-173-1), 222

Jonathan W. Welburn, "Crises Beyond Belief: Findings on contagion, the role of beliefs, and the Eurozone debt crisis from a borrower lender game," Computational Economics, 2019

Jonathan William Welburn, Justin Grana, Karen Schwindt, Cyber Deterrence or: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Signal, RAND Corporation (WR-1294), 2019

Languages

French

Commentary

  • U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the Colonial Pipeline shutdown at the White House in Washington, D.C., May 13, 2021, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    How the United States Can Deter Ransomware Attacks

    To rein in ransomware attacks, the United States needs to upend the risk-reward ratio for hackers and for the countries that harbor or support them. Such a strategy would make networks harder to breach, hit back harder against hackers, and claw back gains from those who succeed.

    Aug 9, 2021 Los Angeles Times

  • Gasoline tankers pass by Colonial Pipeline storage tanks in Austell, Georgia, May 10, 2021, photo by John Spink/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM

    Supply Chains Have a Cyber Problem

    We are entering a world in which cyber disruptions easily become supply chain disruptions, and where supply chains for hardware and software create new cyber risks. Managing these will demand digital-era solutions, including updating tools, regulations, and reporting requirements.

    Jun 22, 2021 The RAND Blog

  • A driver walks to his car near an empty gas pump in Falls Church, Virginia, May 12, 2021, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Is DarkSide Really Sorry? Is It Even DarkSide?

    The U.S. military relies heavily on commercial energy assets, making the implications of events like the Colonial Pipeline outage more serious than just higher prices at the gas pump. The origins and severity of an attack dictate what the United States might do in response.

    May 19, 2021 Defense One

  • A man receives the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 shots, at Guy's Hospital in London, UK, December 8, 2020, photo by Victoria Jones/Pool/Reuters

    A Case for Vaccinating Teachers First

    Most agree that America's 18 million health care workers should top the list for COVID-19 vaccination. The 3.3 million teachers should come next. Vaccinating teachers could make it possible to open schools permanently and get parents back to work. That would help the economy recover.

    Dec 19, 2020 The Wall Street Journal

  • Cloud service icon with options and devices, photo by artisteer/Getty Images

    Too Interconnected to Fail

    The 2007–08 financial crisis made regulators and lawmakers acutely aware that some financial institutions had become too big to fail. The next big economic crisis may arise outside the financial sector, in highly networked companies that are too interconnected to fail.

    Aug 22, 2020 Wall Street Journal

  • Jonathan Welburn stands on Santa Monica's nearly deserted Third Street Promenade in May 2020, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Balancing Public Health and Economic Effects of Physical Distancing: Q&A with Jonathan Welburn

    Jonathan Welburn, an operations researcher at RAND, has spent years studying how economic shocks ripple outward like a contagion through the economy. He recently helped develop an online tool that policymakers can use to manage the health and economic effects of COVID-19 interventions.

    Jul 13, 2020

  • Commercial trucks cross over the Ambassador Bridge at the international border crossing during the COVID-19 outbreak, in Detroit, Michigan, March 18, 2020, photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    Supply Chain Disruptions Due to COVID-19 and Social Distancing

    There are significant epidemiological and economic risks and uncertainties with physical distancing policies put into effect in the United States to reduce the growth of COVID-19. We have estimated the economy-wide impacts of a set of these policies to provide a sense of their likely economic toll.

    Apr 28, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Temporary closed signage is seen at a store in Manhattan following the outbreak of COVID-19, in New York City, March 15, 2020, photo by Jeenah Moon/Reuters

    The Danger of Converting a Health Crisis into a Financial Crisis

    The impulse to do something to help businesses right now is well-intended, but lending to companies that were highly leveraged pre-crisis is a risky bet. Assistance could be best directed toward sound enterprises that are likely to survive and contribute to boosting the economy in the coming years.

    Apr 13, 2020 CNN

  • A man wears a mask while walking past the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, March 17, 2020, photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    The Social Distancing Economy: Q&A with RAND Experts

    Congress and the White House are weighing economic policies to help people acutely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Here are insights from RAND experts on what might be effective in terms of fiscal policy, stimulus spending, and emergency relief to affected workers.

    Mar 18, 2020

  • World map with electronic circuits

    When Cyber Attacks Occur, Who Should Investigate?

    Data breaches and cyberattacks cross geopolitical boundaries, targeting individuals, corporations and governments. Creating a global body with a narrow focus on investigating and assigning responsibility for cyberattacks could be the first step to creating a digital world with accountability.

    Dec 6, 2018 United Press International

  • Financial video game

    Let's (Not) Play Games with Dodd-Frank

    Dodd-Frank, the 2010 financial reform law, is now itself the target of reform. Those involved with the overhaul could draw inspiration from an unlikely source: video games. A simulation game could help predict the effects of changes to regulations—and avoid high-stakes missteps.

    May 4, 2017 The Hill

Publications