Samuelson, Paul

Samuelson, Paul

▪ American economist
in full  Paul Anthony Samuelson 
born May 15, 1915, Gary, Indiana, U.S.

      American economist awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1970 for his fundamental contributions to nearly all branches of economic (economics) theory.

      Samuelson was educated at the University of Chicago (B.A., 1935) and at Harvard University (Ph.D., 1941). He became a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1940. Samuelson also served as an economic adviser to the United States government.

      Samuelson has contributed to many areas of economic theory through powerful mathematical techniques that he employed essentially as puzzle-solving devices. His Foundations of Economic Analysis (1947) provides the basic theme of his work, with the universal nature of consumer behaviour seen 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 (capital and interest) 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.

      Furthermore, Samuelson's lucid prose contributed to the popularity of his publications. His introductory textbook, Economics (1948), is considered a classic. The Collected Scientific Papers of Paul A. Samuelson was published in five volumes between 1966 and 1986.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.