Wade Hands - Paul Samuelson and the Neoclassical Synthesis

About the Interview

Paul Samuelson was both a mathematical micro-economist, working from theorem to proof in the neoclassical tradition, and a committed Keynesian macroeconomist, convinced of the necessity of policy intervention to improve the performance of market economies. How did he square these two sides of himself? Wade Hands goes into the archives to find out, as a step toward understanding how the neoclassical synthesis was first made. Understanding the past in order to understand the present -- this is new economic thinking.

About Wade Hands

Wade Hands is Professor of Economics at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma WA. He has written on a number of topics in the history and philosophy of economics, and is currently co-editor of The Journal of Economic Methodology. Full profile



The history and philosophy of economics is a great subject today. I would also suggest that professors of economics should go back and reconstruct the history of our dollar. To understand why our current monetary policies are not working, I would suggest that understanding First Principles is important. How did our 'dollar' start and how was it defined and then redefined over the years? Where are we today? These are important questions for anyone who desires to understand the fallacies of the Keynesian model.

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