A lifetime solving economic conflict
It’s hard to believe that the person entering the conference room at the Russell Sage Foundation in Manhattan, wearing a light-colored shirt and a warm smile, is even a day over 80. The famed professor admits his hearing isn’t what it used to be, nevertheless, he’s eager to start talking and sharing insights into his work and his thoughts on ongoing economic conflicts.
A child of the Great Depression
After Solow returned home from Europe after World War II, he resumed his studies at Harvard University. It was his wife Bobby, studying economics herself, who got him interested in the field. He soon started working on one question in particular: Why do some economies grow faster than others? Solow explains how it was a natural question for him, being a child of the Great Depression. "I wouldn’t say that we were deprived or terribly poor or hungry, ever," he remembers. "But I was always conscious that my parents were worrying whether they could survive economically. The depression was part of the background of my life."