The Life of an Economist

  • Charles P. Kindleberger


It is virtually a theorem that economists start out intellectual life specialising in some other subject and switch about age 20. Sir John Hicks began in mathematics, John Williams in English, Max Millikan in physics, Robert Solow in sociology, etc. The one counter-example known to me is Paul Samuelson who wanted to be an economist for as long as he can remember, but he is sui generis. The reason, I believe, is that young people grow up in a fairly homogeneous environment, and become aware of the fascination of complex social interrelations only on reaching a certain maturity.


Federal Reserve Marshall Plan Joint Economic Committee Railroad Centre Sloan School 
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  1. Basington-Smith, C., AirSpy (New York, Harper & Row, 1957).Google Scholar
  2. Zuckerman, S. (Lord), From Apes to Warlords (New York, Harper & Row, 1978)Google Scholar

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© Banca Nazionale del Lavoro 1989

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  • Charles P. Kindleberger

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