Leonardo Monasterio asks:
Which paper/book should we celebrate its 50th year? Obviously, my vote goes to the paper that started the cliometric revolution:
The Economics of Slavery in the Ante Bellum South
Alfred H. Conrad, John R. Meyer
The Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 66, No. 2 (Apr., 1958), pp. 95-130
Is there any other contestant?
The two obvious competitors are Modigliani and Miller on financial irrelevance (AER) and Paul Samuelson on the overlapping generations model (JPE). I’m inclined to put M-M first and Conrad and Meyer second. Am I missing anything? Don’t one or two of Schelling’s famous game theory articles date from this year as well?
Postwar American economics was splendid. WWII meant that many thinkers (Friedman, Samuelson, Schelling, others) had real world experience with tackling big problems. At the same time these people were just getting their hands on quantitative thinking and some more technical tools, yet the profession still valued breadth to some degree.