Revisiting Samuelson's Foundations of Economic Analysis

51 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2014 Last revised: 4 Jul 2015

Roger Backhouse

University of Birmingham - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 31, 2014

Abstract

This paper re-examines the origins of Paul A. Samuelson's Foundations of Economic Analysis (1947), a book that helped define the way economic theory was undertaken for many years after its publication. Material taken from Samuelson's own papers and other archives is used to elaborate and correct his own account, written fifty years later. It discusses the role of his Harvard teachers, including Edwin Bidwell Wilson, the changes introduced between his 1941 PhD thesis and the book's publication, and the reception and significance of the book.

Keywords: Samuelson, Foundations, mathematical economics

JEL Classification: B31, C02, D00

Suggested Citation

Backhouse, Roger, Revisiting Samuelson's Foundations of Economic Analysis (October 31, 2014). Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 53, No. 2, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2510383 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2510383

Roger Backhouse (Contact Author)

University of Birmingham - Department of Economics ( email )

Economics Department
Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

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