Robert Solow

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Robert Solow, Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will co-chair the steering committee for the Foundation's project (co-funded by the Century Foundation) on sustaining low unemployment. Solow will also pursue two research projects of his own. In the first, Solow will model how productivity gains depend upon technical change being "embodied" in new investments of physical capital (the latest computer chip technology, for instance, is of no benefit to a firm until that firm invests in new, faster computers). In the second project, Solow will seek to explain irregularities in the short term relationship between employment and output. In the long term, there is a straightforward relation between total employment and the economy's total output: the more people employed by the economy, the more output it produces. In the short term, when the economy's stock of capital is fixed, this relationship does not always hold. Solow will attempt to explain these short term irregularities by comparing the output-employment relationship in manufacturing and in services. (Spring, 2000)

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