Paul Anthony Samuelson

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Samuelson, Paul Anthony


Born May 15, 1915, in Gary, Ind. American economist.

Samuelson was educated at Hyde Park High School in Chicago and at the University of Chicago and Harvard University. Since 1940 he has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has been a professor of economics there since 1966. Since 1941 he has also served as a consultant and adviser to various governmental institutions; from 1961 to 1968 he was an adviser to the White House on economic affairs. Samuelson is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Economic Association, the International Economic Association, and the Econometric Society. He is the author of the most widely used textbook on political economy in the capitalist world, Economics: An Introductory Analysis (1951; Russian translation, 1964).

Samuelson’s theoretical views are eclectic. He attempts to unite the various schools and trends in vulgar political economy on the basis of what he calls a “neoclassical synthesis,” which essentially consists of a distinctive combination of the modern bourgeois apologetic theory of income distribution with the vulgar but, in his terminology, “classical” principles characteristic of the subjective school of political economy. In theoretical research in economics, Samuelson favors a broad application of the mathematical method.

An advocate of the mixed economy theory, Samuelson favors an active role for bourgeois government in economic life. In substantiating the need for deeper governmental intervention in the economy, Samuelson advances arguments that, contrary to his intention, are in essence an acknowledgment of the insolubility of the contradictions in the capitalist system.

Samuelson received the Nobel Prize in economic science in 1970.


Foundations of Economic Analysis. New York, 1947.
Linear Programming and Economic Analysis. New York, 1958. (Coauthor.)
Problems of the American Economy. [London] 1962.
Stability and Growth in the American Economy. Stockholm, 1963.
The Collected Scientific Papers, vols. 1–3. London, 1966–72.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Like the later seminal work of John Hicks, Paul Samuelson and Kenneth Arrow in the 20th century, they produced deep insights that provided sudden, blinding clarity about how the economy works, and how politics interacts with markets and economic wellbeing.
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