Economist Paul Samuelson passes away, aged 94

By Incorrect Author 14 December 2009

Paul A. Samuelson, the first American Nobel laureate in economics and one of the 20th century's foremost economists, died on Sunday at the age of 94.  His 1970 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics recognized Samuelson's central role in turning economics into a discipline that addresses problems with mathematical rigor and clarity. While he was at MIT, Samuelson attracted a formidable list of others to teach or study there, including Robert Solow, George Akerlof, Robert Engle III, Lawrence Klein, Paul Krugman, Franco Modigliani, Robert Merton and Joseph Stiglitz. Samuelson's economics textbook became a university textbook phenomenon. It has been translated into 20 languages and introduced countless students to the ideas of John Maynard Keynes. Samuelson'r role was crucial in encouraging president Kennedy to adopt Keynesian economics as part of national economic policy.Samuelson was a lively, funny, articulate teacher.  When woman's liberation began to take hold and female students complained about about career and salary inequities, he said,  “Women are men without money.”The New York Times said of him that he,  "reshaped academic thinking about nearly every economic subject, from what Marx could have meant by a labor theory of value to whether stock prices fluctuate randomly. Mathematics had already been employed by social scientists, but Mr. Samuelson brought the discipline into the mainstream of economic thinking, showing how to derive strong theoretical predictions from simple mathematical assumptions." For more, read the New York Times


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