Paul Anthony Samuelson, 1915 - 2009
LIFE magazine photo (December 1950)
Born: 15 May 1915, Gary, Indiana
Died: 13 December 2009, Belmont, Massachusetts
The Samuelson family moved to Chicago in 1923 and Samuelson began studying the stock market in his freshman year at Hyde Park High School. He didn't wait to graduate before entering the University of Chicago where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1935. The went to MIT and got his M.A. the next year and his Ph.D. in 1941. He became an assistant professor of economics there in 1940 and a full professor in 1947, and was named Institute Professor in 1966, MIT's highest faculty honor. He was a member or fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, the International Economic Association, and several others. He has lectured at over 20 colleges and universities and has received at least 35 honorary degrees. He served as an advisor to presidents Kennedy and Johnson and consulted frequently with the government thereafter, including long service with the Federal Reserve Bank. He was the first American to receive the Bank of Sweden Prize in economics (often referred to as a Nobel Prize) in 1970. He officially retired from MIT in 1985 but continued to work in his office there until just two weeks before his death.
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Paul Samuelson quotes:
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- An intriguing paradox of the 1990s is that it isn't called a decade of greed. permalink
- Asia's governments come in two broad varieties: young, fragile democracies - and older, fragile authoritarian regimes. permalink
- By keeping labor supply down, immigration policy tends to keep wages high. Let us underline this basic principle: Limitation of the supply of any grade of labor relative to all other productive factors can be expected to raise its wage rate; and increase in supply will, other things being equal, tend to depress wage rates. permalink
- Companies are not charitable enterprises: They hire workers to make profits. In the United States, this logic still works. In Europe, it hardly does. permalink
- Economics has never been a science - and it is even less now than a few years ago. permalink
- Economists are said to disagree too much but in ways that are too much alike: If eight sleep in the same bed, you can be sure that, like Eskimos, when they turn over, they'll all turn over together. permalink
- Economists have much to be humble about. permalink
- Every good cause is worth some inefficiency. permalink
- For better or worse, US Keynesianism was so far ahead of where it started. I am a cafeteria Keynesian. You know what a cafeteria catholic is? permalink
- Funeral by funeral, theory advances. permalink
- Globalization presumes sustained economic growth. Otherwise, the process loses its economic benefits and political support. permalink
- Good questions outrank easy answers. permalink
- I couldn't reconcile what I was being taught at the university of Chicago, the lectures and the books I was being assigned, with what I knew to be true out in the streets. permalink
- I don't care very much for the People Magazine approach to applied economics. permalink
- I don't care who writes a nation's laws. or crafts its advanced treatises, if I can write its economics textbooks. permalink
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