Learn more about Karl Shell
Shell received a B.A. in mathematics from Princeton University in 1960. He earned his Ph.D. in economics in 1965 at Stanford University, where he studied under Nobel Prize winner Kenneth Arrow and Hirofumi Uzawa.
Shell is currently Robert Julius Thorne Professor of Economics at Cornell University (succeeding notable economist and airline deregulator Alfred E. Kahn in the Thorne chair). He previously served on the economics faculty at MIT and the University of Pennsylvania.
 Contributions to Economics
While Shell has published academic articles on numerous topics in economics, he is primarily known for his contributions in three areas.
Between 1966 and 1973, Shell published three papers on inventive activity, increasing returns to scale, industrial organization, and economic growth. This contribution was important in its day, and later influenced the development of “new growth theory.” Among others, Paul Romer cited and heavily built upon Shell’s work in his seminal papers on endogenous growth theory.
Shell also made important contributions to the overlapping generations literature (and was perhaps the first to refer to the overlapping generations model by its modern name). The overlapping generations model is now a workhorse in modern macroeconomics and monetary economics.