Robert Solow

Robert Merton Solow ( born August 23, 1924 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American economist. He received the 1987 Prize in Economic Sciences the Bank of Sweden in memory of Alfred Nobel for his work on economic growth theories. He also serves as carrier of the Order Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts.

Solow studied and graduated from 1940 to 1949 - a three-year war break - at Harvard University, then moved to Columbia University, and finally as Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT ), where he has been a full professor since 1958.

His most important contribution to science rendered Solow in 1956, when his essay A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth appeared. In it, he developed the Solow model that explains long- term economic growth in an economy only through technological progress. A year later, he confirmed with the help of empirical evidence on the example of the U.S. his theory. He found out that a large part of the U.S. economic growth has been driven in the first half of the 20th century of technological progress ( total factor productivity) and only a very small part due to the increasing use of labor and capital.


  • 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. Case 1967, p 108
  • Capital Theory and the Rate of Return. In 1963.
  • The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics. In: The American Economic Review. Volume 64, 1974, p 1-14.