American Exceptionalism from an Economic Point of View

  • Lall Ramrattan
  • Michael Szenberg


This chapter presents analyses of American Exceptionalism from American contributors to the field of economics. They have developed, added, or refined the basic, classical, and neoclassical paradigms in economics. The object is to appraise American contributors who have pioneered or fundamentally contributed to the scientific economic paradigms and research programs that have led to the progress of society. The demarcation criteria we use place those who do not measure up to that standard as only precursor candidates to American Exceptionalism. Some of the names in the precursor category include Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Daniel Raymond, Henry C. Carey, Francis A. Walker, and Stuart Wood. Some of the exceptional candidates are John Bates Clark, Irving Fisher, Frank Knight, Paul Samuelson, Milton Friedman, and Kenneth Arrow.

Although we have published on Paul A. Samuelson and Milton Friedman several times, we restrict this presentation only to their exceptional contributions. Joint works with international authors are included when it is not possible to separate individual contributions. This is the case with Kenneth Arrow and Gerard Debreu whose contribution to general equilibrium analysis is inseparable and monumental. Their contributions to general equilibrium analysis are mutual, while Kenneth Arrow has made extended contributions to the area of security and risk analyses. Another two major contributors are Franco Modigliani and Robert Miller. Miller was a student of Modigliani at MIT, and their names are together in the Modigliani-Miller hypothesis. We do not represent the many other noteworthy contributions of Modigliani, which we have penned in a book and several articles.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lall Ramrattan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael Szenberg
    • 3
  1. 1.UC Berkeley ExtensionBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Holy Names UniversityOaklandUSA
  3. 3.Touro CollegeBrooklynUSA

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