Robert Merton Solow, GCIH (born August 23, 1924), is an American economist, particularly known for his work on the theory of economic growth that culminated in the exogenous growth model named after him.
Solow’s model of economic growth, often known as the Solow-Swan neo-classical growth model as the model was independently developed by Trevor W. Swan also in 1956, allows the determinants of economic growth to be separated into increases in inputs (labour and capital) and technical progress. The reason these models are called “exogenous” growth models is the rate of technical progress is taken to be exogenously given. Using his model, Solow (1957) calculated that about four-fifths of the growth in US output per worker was attributable to technical progress.
He is currently Emeritus Institute Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has been a professor since 1949.
He was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal in 1961, the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1987, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. Three of his PhD students, George Akerlof, Joseph Stiglitz, and Peter Diamond, later received Nobel Memorial Prizes in Economic Sciences in their own right.