Paul Samuelson dies – an economist with an outstanding debt to society

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FT.com / Comment / Obituaries - Nobel laureate who turned economics into a science dies.

Paul Samuelson has died. A Nobel laureate economist he has a lot to answer for, and his legacy (eulogised in the FT by the BBC's Stephanie Flanders) is pretty dire.

He, more than most mathematised economics. Which means he had to assume people were rational. In the process he broke the link between economics and reality.

Then he assumed the existence of stable equilibria in an economy - which is contrary to all known evidence. So once more he remeoved economics from the realms of usefulness.

And he wrote a textbook that has created more bad economists dedicated to harming the society in which they live than almost any other.

So what he got a Nobel prize? His legacy is dire.