Thursday, December 17, 2009

Paul A. Samuelson (1915-2009)

Paul A. Samuelson passed away on Sunday, December 13, 2009. Along side Milton Friedman, John Maynard Keynes and Irving Fisher, he was one of the most significant influences on modern, mainstream economics. His influence is even felt at Mount Olive College. His textbook placed Macroeconomics before Microeconomics, and as a result, our MOC principles of economics classes are ECO 211 Macroeconomics and ECO 212 Microeconomics.

As an Austrian Economist, I think that his popularization of Keynes's theories led the economics profession down the wrong path, that his mathematization of theory was overreaching and in error, that his separating Macroeconomics from Microeconomics is unjustifiable (and Microeconomics should come first), and that his insistence of the superiority Soviet Union's economy over the U.S.'s was just plain wrong. However, he was a brilliant economist and he deserves his due. The official Press Release from MIT is here and an obituary from Robert Higgs is here.


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