Larry Samuelson

American economist

Larry Samuelson (born April 2, 1953) is an American economist and the A. Douglas Melamed Professor of Economics at Yale University and one of the faculty of the Cowles Foundation of Yale University.


  • Evolutionary game theory is one of the most active and rapidly growing areas of research in economics. Unlike traditional game theory models, which assume that all players are fully rational and have complete knowledge of details of the game, evolutionary models assume that people choose their strategies through a trial-and-error learning process in which they gradually discover that some strategies work better than others. In games that are repeated many times, low-payoff strategies tend to be weeded out, and an equilibrium may emerge.
    • Larry Samuelson. Evolutionary Games and Equilibrium Selection. 1997. Overview.
  • In the beginning, at least for academics, there was philosophy. All of learned inquiry occurred within the discipline of philosophy and was carried out by philosophers. We retain the vestiges of this organization in our practice of awarding a single advanced academic degree, the Ph.D. or Doctor of Philosophy.’ As our understanding of the world around us grew, however, various areas of philosophy became sufficiently well understood to graduate into their own disciplines. Mathematics and the physical and biological sciences were the first to appear, followed more recently by the social sciences. Emerging as its own discipline is only the first step toward becoming a mature field of study. Economics is unique among the social sciences for the number of remaining steps it has taken. Unlike many social sciences, economics has a well-defined core set of methods. The first year graduate program in economics is virtually indistinguishable across American universities, consisting of microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. As a result, economics can be easily defined by its tools of inquiry as by the target of its inquiry.
    • Larry Samuelson. "Bounded Rationality and Game Theory", The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Vol. 36, Special Issue, 1996, pages 17-35.

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