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Paul Samuelson

Paul SamuelsonAKA Paul Anthony Samuelson

Born: 15-May-1915
Birthplace: Gary, IN
Died: 13-Dec-2009
Location of death: Belmont, MA
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Economist
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Theory of revealed preference

One of the Twentieth Century's most influential economists, Paul Samuelson improved the quality of mathematical analysis in his field, formalized several branches of economic science, and helped popularize Keynesian economics in America. He studied at the University of Chicago, and said he was "born as an economist" there in 1932, when he heard a lecture on Thomas Malthus. In 1938 he introduced the concept of "revealed preference", his theory that a consumer's preferences and satisfaction are revealed in his/her choices. His 1947 book Foundations of Economic Analysis proposed a universal nature of consumer behavior as a cornerstone of economic theory, and his 1948 textbook Economics has sold over ten-million copies and remains the all-time best-selling book on the subject. In 1954 he provided the first rigorous definition of public goods, materials that all of society benefits from but that cannot practically be charged to individuals.

He was the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Economics, honored in 1970 “for the scientific work through which he has developed static and dynamic economic theory and actively contributed to raising the level of analysis in economic science”. He conducted work now considered fundamental in fields including capital theory, dynamics and general equilibrium of economic systems, finance theory, general equilibrium theory, the interaction of multiplier and accelerator effects, international trade, public expenditure, trade cycles, and welfare economics. He said that the economic motivation for writing his text Economics was the expense of having triplets in the 1940s. He wrote a column on economics at Newsweek from 1966-81, and he was critical of the Nixon administration's economic policies to the point that he earned a spot on the famed "enemies' list." He was an uncle of former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers.

Father: Frank Samuelson (pharmacist)
Mother: Ella Lipton Samuelson
Brother: Robert Sommers (economics professor)
Wife: Marion Crawford Samuelson (economist, m. 1938, d. 1978, two daughters, four sons)
Daughter: Jane Samuelson Raybould
Daughter: Margaret Crawford-Samuelson
Son: William Samuelson
Son: Robert Samuelson (triplet)
Son: John Samuelson (triplet)
Son: Paul Samuelson (triplet)
Wife: Risha Clay Samuelson (until his death)

    High School: Hyde Park High School, Chicago (1931)
    University: BA Economics, University of Chicago (1935)
    University: MA Economics, Harvard University (1936)
    University: PhD Economics, Harvard University (1941)
    Lecturer: Economics, Harvard University (1940)
    Lecturer: Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1940-46)
    Professor: Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1946-2009)

    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Economic Association President (1961)
    American Philosophical Society
    British Academy Foreign Member
    Econometric Society President (1951)
    Harvard Society of Fellows (1937-40)
    International Economic Association President (1965-68)
    Phi Beta Kappa Society
    Royal Society Foreign Member
    Newsweek Columnist (1966-81)
    US National Resources Planning Board 1941-43
    US Treasury Department Consultant (1945-52)
    US Council of Economic Advisers Kennedy and Johnson administrations (1961-66)
    John Bates Clark Medal 1947
    Guggenheim Fellowship 1948-49
    Nobel Prize for Economics 1970
    National Medal of Science 1996
    Nixon's Enemies List
    Hillary Clinton for President
    John Kerry for President
    Jewish Ancestry
    Polish Ancestry

Author of books:
Foundations of Economic Analysis (1947, non-fiction)
Economics: An Introductory Analysis (1948, textbook)
Readings in Economics (1952, non-fiction; with Robert L. Bishop and John R. Coleman)
Full Employment, Guideposts and Economic Stability (1967, non-fiction; with Arthur F. Burns)
Economics from the Heart: The Samuelson Sampler (1983, non-fiction; collected papers)
The Collected Scientific Papers of Paul A. Samuelson (1986, non-fiction; five volumes)
Macroeconomics (1989, textbook; with William D. Nordhaus)
Microeconomics (1989, textbook; with William D. Nordhaus)


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