Passion and Craft: Economists at Work

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University of Michigan Press, 1998 - Business & Economics - 314 pages
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Most celebrities have to wait until the end of their careers to publish their autobiographies. Here, twenty economists in mid-career (nineteen scholars and an economics journalist) bring together personal accounts of their work and lives. The contributors were asked to elaborate on their methods of working and their private thoughts. The result is a rich set of biographies, addressing issues such as the effects of politics on work and vice versa, family life, creativity in and inspired by the workplace, the study of law and economics, and the conducting of research, and the role of women in this male-dominated field.
The contributing economists represent a wide range of endeavors in economics such as research, education, law, and journalism, and include Francine D. Blau, David Colander, William Darity, Jr., Avinash Dixit, Benjamin M. Friedman, Claudia Goldin, David M. Gordon, Elhanan Helpman, Paul Krugman, William M. Landes, N. Gregory Mankiw, Deirdre N. McCloskey, Rachel McCulloch, Philip Mirowski, Roger B. Myerson, Susan Rose-Ackerman, Richard Schmalensee, Hal R. Varian, David Warsh, and Gavin Wright. Michael Szenberg provides an introduction.
Passion and Craftprovides a fascinating glimpse into the minds and lives of some of the most interesting economists of our time. It will be inspiring reading for economists as well as all other social scientists, students considering a career in economics, and anyone interested in how great minds work.
"Passion and Craftis a worthy sequel toEminent Economists. It should be of greatest interest to young scholars who want to know what it is like to 'do economics' and to senior economists who will learn how things have changed (or have they?)." --Victor R. Fuchs, Stanford University
Michael Szenberg is Director, Center for Applied Research, and Professor of Economics, Lubin School of Business, Pace University. He also serves as editor ofThe American Economist.

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About the author (1998)

Paul Samuelson was the first American recipient of the Nobel Prize in economics. Born in Indiana, he did his undergraduate work at the University of Chicago and earned a Ph.D. at Harvard University, where he studied with Alvin Hansen. He taught for several decades at M.I.T. Samuelson's first major work was Foundations of Economic Analysis (1947), a mathematical treatment of economic theory and principles. Later he made extensive contributions to professional journals in virtually all areas of economic theory. Often he would be the first to offer a mathematical proof of a proposition when most other economists could sense it only intuitively. In 1948 he published the first edition of Economics, one of the most successful and influential college texts of our time. It provided an extremely comprehensive treatment of Keynesian economics and microeconomic principles, and played an important part in educating a generation of economists. Despite Samuelson's role in providing mathematical refinements for economic theory, he has always maintained a public posture, welcoming opportunities to share his views. He was an economic adviser to President John F. Kennedy and wrote a popular column for Newsweek from 1966 to 1981. He has generally favored an interventionist approach in policy matters, especially when it has involved using the tax system to battle poverty, fight inflation, or balance the budget. One of the world's most respected economists, Samuelson is responsible for rewriting considerable parts of economic theory. He has, in several areas, achieved results that rank among the classic theorems in economics.

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