Nobel laureate and emeritus professor at MIT Robert Solow sat down with EconTalk host Russ Roberts to discuss growth theory and the challenges of macroeconomics.

Use the prompts below to start your own conversations offline.

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Going Deeper:

1. When describing his work in growth theory, Solow insists that we must think about the “varying capital intensity of growth.” What does he mean by this, and what does it suggest about varying economies’ potential for growth?

2. How does Solow describe endogenous growth theory (the work of Paul Romer)? What is Solow’s assessment of Romer’s work?

Going Deeper:

3. Roberts challenges Solow’s contention in a piece for Econ Journal Watch that “Milton Friedman was bad for economics.” How does Solow reply, and to what extent do you agree with him?

4. Solow suggests that there are three primary reasons why macroeconomics today is so characterized by disagreement. What are these three reasons, and how effectively do they describe the state of modern macroeconomics?

Extra Credit:

5. What does Solow regard as John Maynard Keynes’ most significant contribution to economics? Roberts responds that there is a different, more important, question that must be asked about the work of Keynes. Summarize the positions of each, and explain with whom you are in greater agreement, and why.