Randall Jarrell similarly observed that "[Wallace] Stevens did what no other American poet has ever done, what few poets have ever done: wrote some of his best and newest and strangest poems during the last year or two of a very long life."
[Jean-Luc] Godard has directed scores of movies in a career that continues today in its fifth decade, but there is a strong critical consensus that his most important single work is his first full-length movie, Breathless, which he made in 1960 at the age of 30.
Those two passages are from David W. Galenson’s forthcoming Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity. Here is a related working paper. Here are many other interesting papers.
My question: Which economists have done extremely important work after the age of 50? Have done their best work after 50? After 40? Comments are open, I welcome your suggestions but it is not easy…