Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 11 No. 2 (Spring 1997)


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The Perseverance of Paul Samuelson's Economics

Article Citation

Skousen, Mark. 1997. "The Perseverance of Paul Samuelson's Economics." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11(2): 137-152.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.2.137


A reflection of the economics profession through Paul Samuelson's Economics. Samuelson offers an uneasy mix of laissez faire in micro and government interventionism in macro. In earlier editions, Keynesian thinking dominated, with an antisaving, progovernment bias and a need for an activist fiscal policy aimed at alleviating unpredictable chronic business cycles under private enterprise. Middle editions had chapters on the Soviet Union and China, rather than Japan and West Germany. Recently, Samuelson and coauthor William Nordhaus have gradually shifted from antithrift to prosavings policies, from deficit spending to fiscal restraint, and from fiscal policy to monetary policy as effective countercyclical tools.

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Skousen, Mark (Rollins College)

JEL Classifications

A22: Economic Education and Teaching of Economics: Undergraduate


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