Jonathan William Welburn

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


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


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

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, RAND Corporation (WR-1311), 2019

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

John S Davis, Benjamin Adam Boudreaux, Jonathan W. Welburn, Jair Aguirre, Cordaye Ogletree, Geoffrey McGovern, Michael Chase, Stateless Attribution: Toward International Accountability in Cyberspace, RAND Corporation (RR-2081), 2017




  • 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