07 Oct 2011

Paul Samuelson Correspondence Regarding My Papers on Capital & Interest Theory

Economics, Shameless Self-Promotion 6 Comments

UPDATE: To be clear, I think Samuelson was an amazing character; that’s what I meant below when I say, “They don’t make ’em like this anymore.” Since he died, there’s really nobody left who can criticize Bohm-Bawerk the way he did. Sure it’s fine to debate Krugman, but Krugman doesn’t know Austrian capital & interest theory the way Samuelson did.

Ah, at long last! Corey Sheahan (prompted by Stanislaw Kwiatkowski) was able to go through the Samuelson archives at Duke and dig out his referee reports on my papers on capital & interest theory. (I couldn’t find them after I had moved, so I was worried they were lost forever. Also, in case it’s not clear, Samuelson disclosed his identity to me in both reports.) Here are citations to the two papers involved:

Murphy, Robert P. “Interest and the Marginal Product of Capital: A Critique of Samuelson.” Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Vol. 29, No. 4 (2007), pp. 453-464.
————–“Dangers of the One-Good Model: Böhm-Bawerk’s Critique of the ‘Naïve Productivity Theory’ of Interest.” Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Vol. 27, No. 4 (December 2005), pp. 375-382.

I don’t have handy versions of the published papers, but you can get the basic idea from the Appendix in my dissertation.

Anyway here are Samuelson’s letters. Be sure to read the one from January 2006. They don’t make ’em like this anymore.

6 Responses to “Paul Samuelson Correspondence Regarding My Papers on Capital & Interest Theory”

  1. Stan Kwiatkowski says:

    Also a big thanks to Emily Skarbek and Jake Roundtree.

    I’m a Polish guy, who needed something about a paper from the US. I could email the author of the paper, who emailed the editor of the journal, so I could put a request on facebook, so another guy recommended me another guy, that I could contact, who contacted me with another person, who gave me some tips, so I could contact another guy to get the paper.

    And I’m only talking about how we succeeded to find this and not mentioning the dead-ends.

    And all that in 4 days.

    The internet is awesome.

  2. David S. says:

    Naturally, you could only get published in an economic history journal, at best. That’s all Austrianism is and you’re not even good at that.

    Of course, any journal that publishes anything you write is a quack journal of 0 importance, or at least is being refereed by old, confused, and senile has beens.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      David S., before we knew you didn’t know much about the importance of Austrian economics. Now you reveal that you don’t really know who Paul Samuelson is either. That says a lot.

      • Joseph Fetz says:

        Maybe David S. is really Bruce Bartlett.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      At least Murphy has published in a journal, and has a PhD, unlike you who can only publish worthless vitriol on the internet, where the only referee is your mother walking in on you “browsing.”

  3. RG says:

    His response in 2006 made me recall Dr. Hoppe’s article http://mises.org/daily/2214/Natural-Elites-Intellectuals-and-the-State.

    Samuleson’s holier than thou diefication of himself is on full display.