About Paul @paulsolman
As you can see below, Paul Solman, business, economics and occasional art correspondent for the PBS NewsHour since 1985, used to have lots of hair. In the '60s, his father found it amusing to say, "you don't need a haircut so much as an estimate." His intramural softball teammates at Brandeis University dubbed him "the Black Medusa."
Having served as editor of the Brandeis newspaper, "The Justice," he got his first paid journalism job in 1970 at the alternative weekly "Boston After Dark." Then and now, he liked to talk on the phone.
Paul became founding editor of the rival alternative weekly The Real Paper in 1972, became its investigative reporter, and became interested in business when he set out to do a story about municipal bond rates (this was 1976) and realized he was clueless. As was, he realized, the entire booming generation in his wake. Here was an opportunity. But how to seize it? How about going to business school?
Having no money for tuition, Paul applied for a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard and lucked out, joining the Harvard Business school MBA class of 1977-8. He embarked on a career as a business reporter at WGBH Boston immediately thereafter, just as the alopecia was making inroads. After a few years of local PBS reporting, he inaugurated the PBS business documentary series, ENTERPRISE with fellow Nieman Fellow Zvi Dor-Ner. (There was also a Nieman felon in their class, but that's for someone else's biography.)
In the 1980s, Paul produced documentaries, returned to local reporting, and joined the Harvard Business School faculty, teaching media, finance and business history in the school's Advanced Management Program. He also co-authored a better-than-average-seller, Life and Death on the Corporate Battlefield (1983), which appeared in Japanese, German and a pirated Taiwanese edition. He joined "MacNeil/Lehrer" in 1985, two years after it become an hour-long news show, and has been the program's Business and Economics Correspondent ever since, with occasional forays into art and sport.
In the '90s, with sociologist Morrie Schwartz, a teacher of his at Brandeis, Paul helped create -- and wrote the introduction to -- the book "Morrie: In His Own Words," which preceded "Tuesdays with Morrie" by a year or more, but failed to outsell it by several orders of magnitude.
Paul has lectured on college campuses since the '80s and has written for numerous publications, including the Journal of Economic Education. He thinks he's the only person, besides John Kenneth Galbraith, to have written for both Forbes and Mother Jones magazines; he was for years East Coast editor of the latter. A one-time cab driver, kindergarten teacher, crafts store co-owner and management consultant, he is also the author and presenter of "Discovering Economics with Paul Solman," a series of videos to accompany introductory economics textbooks that can be found online.
He is, most recently, co-author (with Larry Kotlikoff and Phil Moeller) of the "runaway New York Times bestseller," "Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security," the necessarily revised and updated edition published in May of 2016.
In 2007, he joined the faculty at Yale, where he adds a dose of communications know-how and economics to the university's Grand Strategy course. In 2011, he was the Richman Distinguished Visiting Professor at his alma mater, Brandeis, where he taught a seminar, "Economic Grand Strategies: From Chimps to Champs? Or Chumps?" He has lectured at campuses across the country, has taught regularly at West Point, and at Gateway Community College in New Haven, CT.
Paul took up tennis at 50 and plays with a knee brace. He'd like to shave off his mustache but is afraid to. He wears a hat because his doctor insists. He is married with children. And grandchildren. He will not bore you with their extraordinary virtues and nascent achievements.
Paul’s Recent Stories
Economy Jun 02Analysis: Today’s unemployment number fools us and President Trump, but for different reasons
A quick look at today’s headline unemployment number, and you’d think the U.S. job market was killing it with the official unemployment rate down again to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent last month. And yet, the economy only grew by…
Economy Jun 01Is the ‘creative class’ saving our cities, or making them impossible to live in?
The clustering of the "creative class" -- professionals in the arts, in the media, in tech -- has brought growth and innovation to cities, but has also led to "the new urban crisis," author Richard Florida tells the NewsHour's Paul…
Economy May 24Anger or fear: which is worse?
How does anger affect the way we think? And does it skew our judgment of risk?…
Economy May 18Why aren’t ‘manly’ men taking ‘girly’ jobs?
Economics correspondent Paul Solman sat down with economist Betsey Stevenson to discuss the growth in female-dominated sectors and how stigma might be holding men back from taking jobs seen as "women's work."…
Economy May 10How does where you live affect your life expectancy?
Life expectancy can very by as much as 20 years depending on what county you live in, a new report finds.
Economy Apr 13What other countries can teach America about taxes
Journalist T.R. Reid's latest project was to find the world’s best income tax systems and report them back to the home of tax revolution: the U.S.
Economy Dec 30Will D.C.’s new paid family leave policy unintentionally encourage discrimination?
DC's new paid family leave is one of the most generous in the nation. But economist Harry Holzer worries the policy could have unintended consequences and hurt the women it's trying to help.
Economy Dec 22The economic case for DC’s family leave policy
The District of Columbia's new family policy will be a boon for not only workers, but for business and the District as a whole, says economist Heather Boushey.
Economy Dec 15How did the pollsters get Trump’s win so wrong? They didn’t, says economist Justin Wolfers
Donald Trump was elected president, but the grand majority of polls, pollsters and prediction markets showed that a Clinton presidency was more likely. How did they get it so wrong?…
Economy Nov 11A historian’s take on Trump’s economic plan for blue-collar, manufacturing jobs
What is President-elect Donald Trump's plan for the economy? Economics correspondent Paul Solman sat down with economic historian Adam Tooze to discuss.