Combining concrete policy-oriented modeling strategies of World War II with what was received as traditional neoclassical theory, in 1956 Robert Solow constructed a simple, clean, and smooth-functioning "design" model that served many different purposes. As a working object it enabled experimentation with long-run equilibrium growth. As an instrument of measurement it was applied to time series data. As a prototype it was supposed to feed into larger-scale econometric models that were, in turn, thought of as technologies for policy advice. Used as a teaching device, Solow's design became a medium of "spreading the technique," and one of the symbols for neoclassical macroeconomics that soon became associated with MIT.
model modeling Robert Solow growth theory growth neoclassical growth model linear programming dynamic programming design model Harvard Economic Research Project Massachusetts Institute of Technology