Gary Stanley Becker was an American economist and empiricist. He was a professor of economics and sociology at the University of Chicago. Described as “the most important social scientist in the past 50 years” by The New York Times, Becker was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1992 and received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. A 2011 survey of economics professors named Becker their favorite living economist over the age of 60, followed by Ken Arrow and Robert Solow.
Gary S. Becker
What is ‘Gary S. Becker’
An American economist who won the 1992 Nobel Prize in Economics for his microeconomic analysis of human behavior and interaction. Before Becker, human behavior was primarily analyzed within the framework of other social sciences, such as sociology. His prize-winning research focused on investments in human capital, family/household behavior, crime and punishment and discrimination in markets.
Explaining ‘Gary S. Becker’
Born in 1930 in Pennsylvania, Becker earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and numerous universities have awarded him honorary doctorate degrees. He taught at Columbia University before returning to the University of Chicago, to continue teaching in the departments of economics and sociology and in the business school. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Becker was awarded the John Bates Clark medal in 1967 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.
- Population and economic growth – pubs.aeaweb.org [PDF]
- The quantity and quality of life and the evolution of world inequality – www.aeaweb.org [PDF]
- Human capital and the rise and fall of families – www.journals.uchicago.edu [PDF]
- Health as human capital: synthesis and extensions – academic.oup.com [PDF]
- The family and the state – www.journals.uchicago.edu [PDF]
- Public policies, pressure groups, and dead weight costs – www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
- Deadweight costs and the size of government – www.journals.uchicago.edu [PDF]