He earned an M. Samuelson was renowned even before completing his graduate studies at Harvard. His first major published work, Foundations of Economic Analysis , was developed from his dissertation. The work demonstrated his promise as a scholar, and he was honored with the American Economic Association's John Bates Clark Medal in , awarded to promising scholars under the age of forty.
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He married Marion E. Crawford on 2 July ; they had six children. Crawford died in ; Samuelson married Risha Eckaus in He was named associate professor in , was promoted to full professor in , and received a Guggenheim Fellowship the following year. He was awarded a Ford Foundation Research Fellowship in In his years at MIT, Samuelson helped create what he would later describe as "a leading world center for economics.
John F. Kennedy made the sluggish rate of U. Samuelson, who began advising Kennedy during the s, was instrumental in shaping Kennedy's economic arguments. Samuelson declined Kennedy's offer to become chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, recommending University of Minnesota economist Walter Heller in his place.
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Samuelson's influence within the Kennedy administration was as great, however, as that of Heller and the other members of the Council. The president-elect gave Samuelson the job of drafting a transition report on the economy to serve as a policy roadmap for the new administration. The report reflected Samuelson's belief that measures taken during the Eisenhower administration to hold down prices might also be stifling economic growth.
In his report Samuelson advocated aggressive action to boost the economy. During his first few months in office Kennedy called for a 10 percent increase in defense spending.
This move reflected the Kennedy administration's view that Eisenhower's efforts to control defense expenditures out of concern for the domestic economy were neither warranted nor wise. Samuelson endorsed this position by maintaining that defense expenditures ought not "be kept below the optimal level needed for security because of the mistaken notion that the economy is unable to bear any extra burdens. Samuelson labored to convince the president of the merits of Keynesian economics , and he was instrumental in convincing Kennedy to drop plans for a tax increase during the summer of By the summer of Kennedy's opposition to deficit spending had softened, and his support for a Keynesian-style tax cut in reflected Samuelson's success in promulgating these ideas within the White House.
Samuelson's influence was not restricted to policymaking in the s. He also shaped professional and popular attitudes toward economics through his regular columns in Newsweek magazine from to Meanwhile, he continued to influence economic theory at a professional level, and his peers repeatedly recognized him as a leader in the field.
He was president of the American Economic Association in and served as president of the International Economic Association from to Samuelson helped train a generation of students through his introductory textbook, Economics. First published in , the book reached the pinnacle of its influence in the s as a new generation of economics professors used Samuelson's simple yet sophisticated description of the basic principles of economics to teach hundreds of thousands of undergraduates.
The editions published during the s sold over 1. In his writings Samuelson established the key features of post- Keynesian economics , a framework characterized as the postclassical or neoclassical synthesis. The central features of this synthesis combined many of the macroeconomic principles of Keynesianism—especially faith in the use of government fiscal policy to maximize economic performance—with classical theory, which celebrated the operation of the free market and focused especially on consumer behavior.
Samuelson rejected the libertarianism of contemporaries, such as Milton Friedman , in part because he doubted the morality of a strictly laissez-faire economic system that tolerated great disparities in wealth between the rich and the poor. Instead, he believed the government had a role to play in ensuring high levels of employment, and he was an enthusiastic supporter of the welfare programs embodied in President Lyndon B.
Johnson's War on Poverty of the mid-to lates. In Samuelson was awarded the Nobel Prize for economics, the first American to be so honored. In awarding the prize the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences praised him for his contributions "covering nearly every area of economic theory," concluding that Samuelson "had done more than any other contemporary economist to raise the level of scientific analysis in economic theory. Samuelson's influence during the s contributed to, and was reflective of, the ascendancy of Keynesian economic theory. Through the hundreds of columns and articles he published for both scholarly and popular audiences, Samuelson facilitated a dramatic transformation in the way in which political leaders and the public thought about government spending and taxes, budget deficits, inflation, and economic growth.
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By the end of the s Keynesian principles dominated economic discourse and served as the foundation for the government's economic policies. Samuelson's scholarly writings are published in five volumes in Joseph E. Stiglitz, ed. Samuelson — Keating, ed. Samuelson reflects on his career in William Breit and Roger W. Spencer, eds. Biographical information about Samuelson and analyses of his writings are in George R. Feiwel, ed. Wood and Ronald Woods, eds. Samuelson: Critical Assessments ; and K. Puttaswamaiah, ed. The American economist Paul Anthony Samuelson born was the most distinguished of the economists who entered the profession during and after the mids—the "Keynesian generation.
Paul Samuelson was born on May 15, , in Gary, Indiana. He graduated from the University of Chicago in and pursued graduate study in economics at Harvard University , where he received the master's degree in and the doctorate in and was made a member of the prestigious Harvard Society of Junior Fellows.
Paul A. Samuelson
In he joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Samuelson's Foundations of Economic Analysis and numerous pioneering articles on economic theory, statistics, mathematical economics, and the important postwar policy issues placed him among the select few of the world's leading economists by the s. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. See Article History. Facts Matter.
Start Your Free Trial Today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. In his best-known book, The Best Use of Economic Resources , Kantorovich demonstrated that even socialist economies must use prices, based on resource scarcity, to allocate resources efficiently. Join Now. Binding : Paper Back Language : English. Add To Cart Buy Now.
Easy Returns and Replacement You can place a return request within 10 days of order delivery. Know More. Chat with Seller. Product Details: Paul A. This book captures much of the spirit of Paul A. Those who know Samuelson, one of the great economists of the twentieth century, only through his writings may have already sensed his wit, his intellect, his brilliance. This book brings these into focus, through details of his personal history and a wealth of anecdotes from colleagues and students.
Stiglitz Foreword Probably more than anyone else in the twentieth century, he transformed the way economists think and write.