Paul Samuelson and the Keynesian Golden Age

This research project develops a much better understanding of Paul Samuelson’s life, work, and broader political-economic vision through archival research at Duke University’s Paul Samuelson archives.

Paul Anthony Samuelson (1915-2009) was one of the most influential economists of the twentieth century. Samuelson, more than perhaps any other person, set the intellectual and political tone for the American economics profession during the period in the post world war period and in the teaching of the discipline. Understanding Samuelson’s intellectual development and how he managed various tensions within his economic and political vision is essential to understanding the neoclassical/ Keynesian synthesis that became the dominant paradigm for nearly 40 years and its subsequent breakdown.