Paul Samuelson

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In existographies, Paul Samuelson (40 BE-54 AE) (1915-2009 ACM) (IQ:165|#577) (ID:1.76|94) (PR:3,169|65AE / economist:17) (GEcE:#) (CR:140) (LH:4) (TL:144|#74) was an American economist and physicist, noted for []


In 1940 to 1970s, Samuelson, under the direction of his mentor Edwin Wilson and the Harvard Pareto circle, attempted to derive economics via what he refers to a "mathematical isomorphisms", stylized on the chemical thermodynamics of Willard Gibbs.



Samuelson was influenced by: Henry Chatelier, Willard Gibbs, Edwin Wilson.


Samuelson associated with: Milton Friedman.


Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Samuelson:

“The formal mathematical analogy between classical thermodynamics and mathematic economic systems has now been explored. This does not warrant the commonly met attempt to find more exact analogies of physical magnitudes, such as entropy or energy, in the economic realm. Why should there be laws like the first or second laws of thermodynamics holding in the economic realm? Why should ‘utility’ be literally identified with entropy, energy, or anything else? Why should a failure to make such a successful identification lead anyone to overlook or deny the mathematical isomorphism that does exist between minimum systems that arise in different disciplines.”
— Paul Samuelson (1960), “Structure of a Minimum Equilibrium System”; cited by: Eric Smith (2008), Jason Smith (2013), and Burin Gumjudpai (2020) [1]
“Milton Friedman and I became known as two poles, early on, but we managed to stay on civil and fairly friendly terms. He is as bright a guy as you would ever meet. But I don’t think he realizes the tremendous number of mistakes he has made in his life. I don’t think anybody has read every item of Milton Friedman’s work in the world but me. Sometimes I say he’s got such a high IQ that he’s got no protection against himself. He looks at his work and is satisfied with it. However, I think that it is a tragedy when somebody really takes the wrong train in life.”
— Paul Samuelson (c.2000), "Interview"; in: Roads to Wisdom: Conversations with Ten Nobel Laureates in Economics (Ѻ)

End matter


  1. (a) Samuelson, Paul. (1960). “Structure of a Minimum Equilibrium System”, Essays in Economics and Econometrics: a Volume in Honor of Harold Hotelling (editor: Ralph Pfouts) (pgs. 1-33; quote, pg. 23). University of North Carolina Press.
    (b) Smith, Eric and Foley, Duncan. (2008). "Classical Thermodynamics and Economic General Equilibrium Theory" (pdf) (pg. 4), Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 32:7-65, Department of Economics Graduate Faculty, New School University, 2005 manuscript.
    (c) Smith, Jason. (2013). “Economics for Fun and Profit” (Ѻ), Information Transfer Economics, BlogSpot, Apr 1.
    (d) Gumjudpai, Burin. (2020). “Thermodynamic Formulation of Economics” (abs) (ppt pdf) (extended abstract pdf) (vid) (quote, ppt pg. 14), Session T08: Theoretical Advances II, Thermodynamics 2.0 Conference, Jun 23.


  • Anon. (2014). “Interview of Paul Samuelson” (YT), Infinite History Project MIT, Jun 30.

External links

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