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May 13, 2011

Historical Echoes: Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

New York Fed Research Library

Joseph Schumpeter (February 8, 1883–January 8, 1950) was an Austrian-born economist famous for his contributions to many fields in economics, including growth theory and entrepreneurship. He is perhaps most famous for his theory of growth as a consequence of “creative destruction.” Schumpeter was also ambitious, as this recollection by Paul Samuelson, an even more famous economist, suggests:

“I have retold Schumpeter’s story about his three wishes in life—to be the greatest lover in Austria, the best horseman in Europe, and the greatest economist in the world—and his regret of having failed to fulfil the second wish.”

For more on Samuelson’s view of Schumpeter as an economic theorist, read “Schumpeter as an Economic Theorist,” Chapter 1 of “The Collected Scientific Papers of Paul A. Samuelson,” Vol. 5, ed. Kate Crowley (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1986).

The views expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the author(s).


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