Paul Samuelson (born May 15, 1915) is an American economist known for his work in many fields of economics. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1970.

As professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he has worked in fields including:

  • Welfare economics, in which he popularised the Lindahl-Bowen-Samuelson conditions which are criteria for deciding whether an action will improve welfare;
  • Public finance theory, in which he is particularly known for his work on determining the optimal allocation of resources in the presence of both public goods and private goods.

He was also the author of an influential economics textbook, Economics, first published in 1945, and revised regularly for the following fifty years.

Stanislaw Ulam once challenged Samuelson to name one theory in all of the social sciences which is both true and nontrivial. Several years later, Samuelson responded with David Ricardo's theory of Comparative advantage.

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