Sunday, December 13, 2009

Paul Samuelson RIP

The death of Paul Samuelson has been announced. It is difficult to describe the influence of Samuelson who made so many profound contributions in so many areas of economics. To use a phrase applied to Richard Feynman, he was "no ordinary genius".


Dave said...

This comment was forwarded to me by Frank Allen, a former student at MIT and chief executive of the Railway Procurement Agency:

I see from your website that Paul Samuelson died at the weekend. He was an elder statesman at MIT when I studied there and while he did not give courses, he was a very visible and fatherly presence on campus. The undergraduates loved him as they believed that he saved economics for mathematics rather than it becoming a social science, which could not possibly be thought of as "analytical". Samuelson established the economics department at MIT when Harvard could not recruit him as they had no more academic places for Jews. Franco Modigliani joined him from Italy and Bob Solow joined them later. In the rivalry between the two Cambridge campuses, MIT liked to remind people the world that their excellence in economics arose from respect for intellect rather than religious prejudice.

Martin Ryan said...

Varian recounts Samuelson's 1938 work on revealed preference: