Robert Solow Quotes
8 Sourced Quotes
Well, I certainly was not going to study physics, and I knew I was not going to study biology, but I could have become a sociologist or an anthropologist. However, I found sociology a little soft. I think that somewhere in my mind, I probably already had the notion – which turned out to be right – that if I was going to be a social scientist of some kind, I would like a rigorous social science. The analytical aspect of economics already appealed to me. That must have been so. It was not really a matter of chance. But if my wife had said 'oh, no, economics was terribly boring', I would probably have found something else to do.
More generally, Schumpeter seemed to be playing the role of grand seigneur, and he tended to flatter where flattery was not due, no doubt satirically. All this went along with his reputation as a casual and easy grader. We used to say that he threw the exam books up a staircase: the ones that stuck at the top got an A, the ones that fell to the bottom an A minus. I was surprised to learn that in Austrian universities he had the reputation of a stern taskmaster.
In my view—and that of most contemporary economists, I believe—Schumpeter's most original and most lastingly significant book was Theory of Economic Development, which appeared in 1911 (and was translated into English in 1934). It was at the University of Czernowitz, not far from the beginning of his career as an economist, that he worked out his conception of the entrepreneur, the maker of new combinations, as the driving force and characteristic figure of the fits-and-starts evolution of the capitalist economy. He was explicit that, while technological innovation was in the long run the most important function of the entrepreneur, organizational innovation in governance, finance, and management was comparable in significance.