Robert M. Solow

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Robert Solow

Robert Merton Solow (born August 23, 1924 in New York ) is an American economist. In 1987 he received the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics for his work on economic growth theories . He is also a holder of the Pour le Mérite order for sciences and arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2014).

Four of his students, George Akerlof , Joseph Stiglitz , Peter Diamond and Paul Krugman received their own Nobel Prizes.


Solow was born in 1924 in the Brooklyn borough of New York and grew up there. His studies, which he began in 1940, were interrupted by a three-year war mission. In 1949 he received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. PhD. He then moved to Columbia University and finally as an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he has been a full professor since 1958. In 1956 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences , 1972 to the National Academy of Sciences and 1980 to the American Philosophical Society . He has been an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy since 1999 .

In 1979, Solow was president-elect of the American Economic Association .


Robert Merton Solow received the
National Medal of Science from Bill Clinton in 1999 .

Solow made his most important contribution to science as early as 1956 when his essay A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth was published. In it he developed the Solow model , which explains long-term economic growth in an economy only through technical progress .

In 1957 he confirmed his theory with the help of empirical evidence using the example of the USA. He found that much of American economic growth in the first half of the 20th century was driven by technological advances ( total factor productivity ) and only a very small part by the increasing use of labor and capital .

In addition to his work on economic growth, Solow also made fundamental contributions to labor market economics, e. B. for wage setting. Several economic concepts bear his name, such as the Solow residual (growth), the Solow-Stiglitz efficiency condition (resource economics) and the Solow elasticity (efficiency wage theory).


  • A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth. In: Quarterly Journal of Economics. Volume 70, February 1956, pp. 65-94.
  • Technical change and the aggregate production function. In: Review of Economics and Statistics. Volume 39, August 1957, pp. 312-320.
  • with Robert Dorfman and Paul Samuelson : Linear Programming and Economic Analysis. McGraw-Hill, New York 1958
  • The New Industrial State or Son of Affluence. In: The Public Interest. Fall 1967, p. 108.
  • Capital Theory and the Rate of Return. 1963.
  • The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics. In: American Economic Review. Volume 64, 1974, pp. 1-14.
  • Wage Bargaining and Employment. In: American Economic Review. Volume 71, 1980, pp. 896-908.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1987., accessed on October 28, 2014 (English).
  2. Robert Merton Solow Order Pour le Mérite., accessed on October 28, 2014 .
  3. ^ Member History: Robert M. Solow. American Philosophical Society, accessed December 27, 2018 .
  4. ^ Members: Robert M. Solow. Royal Irish Academy, accessed May 12, 2019 .
  5. ^ Past and Present Officers. ( American Economic Association ), accessed October 28, 2015 .

Web links

Commons : Robert Solow  - Collection of images, videos and audio files