Paul Samuelson


Paul Samuelson
(1915)


American economist awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1970 for his fundamental contributions to nearly all branches of economic theory.
Samuelson was educated at the University of Chicago (B.A., 1935) and at Harvard, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1941. He was professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1940. Samuelson also served as a government economic adviser on several occasions.

Samuelson was considered an economic theorist of outstanding calibre. He made contributions to many areas of economic theory through the employment of a powerful mathematical technique, using it essentially as a puzzle-solving device. Samuelson's Foundations of Economic Analysis (1947) provides the foundation for a basic theme of his work, the universal nature of consumer behaviour as the key to economic theory. Samuelson studied such diverse fields as the dynamics and stability of economic systems, the incorporation of the theory of international trade into that of general economic equilibrium, the analysis of public goods, capital theory, welfare economics, and public expenditure. Of particular influence has been his mathematical formulation of the interaction of multiplier and accelerator effects and, in consumption analysis, his development of the theory of revealed preference.

Samuelson had a lucid prose style. His introductory textbook, Economics (1948), went into several editions and is considered a classic. The Collected Scientific Papers of Paul A. Samuelson was published in five volumes between 1966 and 1986.


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