© The Nobel Foundation
Robert M. Solow

American Jewish Recipients of the Nobel Prize

Robert M. Solow: Nobel Prize
in Economics-1987

by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Robert M. Solow is an American Jewish recipient in economics, in 1987, for his contributions to the history of economic growth.

He was born on August 23, 1924, in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were children of immigrants, who had to go to work when they finished high school. Solow was a product of the New York City school system. He received a scholarship to Harvard University in 1940. Solow left Harvard in 1942 and joined the Army in World War II. He served overseas and he was discharged in August 1945.

He returned to Harvard and studied under Wassily Leontief, who was selected for the 1973 Nobel Prize in economics. Solow went on a one year fellowship at Columbia University and started work on his Ph. D. thesis. Before he went to Columbia University, he accepted an Assistant Professorship in the Economics Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked here for 40 years with Paul Samuelson, who received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1970.

Solow retired in 1995 as he thought that the Economics Department could use a younger person for the position. He was one of the founding directors of the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, a nonprofit research group that has done pioneer work in the rigorous experimental testing of policy interventions.

Robert M. Solow is currently an emeritus Professor in the MIT economics department.

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