Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

Milton Friedman

Biography: 

Click here to see the Hoover project showcasing the works of Milton and Rose Friedman.

Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize for economic science, was a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006. He passed away on Nov. 16, 2006. (Link to obituary.) He was also the Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he taught from 1946 to 1976, and a member of the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981.

Friedman was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988 and received the National Medal of Science the same year.

He was widely regarded as the leader of the Chicago School of monetary economics, which stresses the importance of the quantity of money as an instrument of government policy and as a determinant of business cycles and inflation.

In addition to his scientific work, Friedman also wrote extensively on public policy, always with a primary emphasis on the preservation and extension of individual freedom. His most important books in this field are (with Rose D. Friedman) Capitalism and Freedom (University of Chicago Press, 1962); Bright Promises, Dismal Performance (Thomas Horton and Daughters, 1983), which consists mostly of reprints of columns he wrote for Newsweek from 1966 to 1983; (with Rose D. Friedman) Free to Choose (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), which complements a ten-part television series of the same name shown over the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) network in early 1980; and (with Rose D. Friedman) Tyranny of the Status Quo (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984), which complements a three-part television series of the same name, shown over PBS in early 1984.

He was a member of the President's Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force and the President's Commission on White House Fellows. He was a member of President Ronald Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board (a group of experts from outside the government named in 1981 by President Reagan).

Friedman was also active in public affairs, serving as an informal economic adviser to Senator Barry Goldwater in his unsuccessful campaign for the presidency in 1964, to Richard Nixon in his successful 1968 campaign, to President Nixon subsequently, and to Ronald Reagan in his 1980 campaign.

He has published many books and articles, most notably A Theory of the Consumption Function, The Optimum Quantity of Money and Other Essays, and (with A. J. Schwartz) A Monetary History of the United States, Monetary Statistics of the United States, and Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom.

He was a past president of the American Economic Association, the Western Economic Association, and the Mont Pelerin Society and was a member of the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Sciences.

He was awarded honorary degrees by universities in the United States, Japan, Israel, and Guatemala, as well as the Grand Cordon of the First Class Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Japanese government in 1986.

Friedman received a B.A. in 1932 from Rutgers University, an M.A. in 1933 from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in 1946 from Columbia University.

Two Lucky People, his and Rose D. Friedman's memoirs, was published in 1998 by the University of Chicago Press.

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Milton Friedman

ECONOMICS AND WAR: The Economic Impact of the War on Terrorism

with Milton Friedmanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, September 25, 2001

The September 11 attacks in New York and Washington have already cost America thousands of lives and billions of dollars in damages. But those are only the direct costs. How severe and how lasting will the impact be on our economy as whole? And how will new burdens on the federal government, including a military buildup and a bailout of the airline industry, affect fiscal policy? Should the government cut taxes or increase spending to get the economy moving again?

How to Cure Health Care

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 30, 2001

The United States spends a mind-boggling percentage of its GDP on a health care system that virtually everyone agrees is a disaster. Is there any way out of this mess? There is—and Hoover fellow Milton Friedman has found it.

Friedman on the Surplus

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 30, 2001

What should the Bush administration do with the surplus? Give it back to the American people, of course. In an interview with Hoover fellow Peter Robinson, Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman explains why he is "in favor of any tax cut, under any circumstances, in any way, in any form whatsoever."

How Can We Fix Our Public Schools? By Making Them Private

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 30, 2001

The widening gap between the cognitive elite and unskilled workers is threatening to transform America, in effect dividing the Republic into two nations, one in the first world, the other in the third. How can we prevent such a division? Only by providing good schools for all our children—which in turn means making our public schools private. Nobel laureate and Hoover fellow Milton Friedman explains.

Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY: The War on Drugs

with Pete Wilson, Milton Friedmanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, December 21, 2000

America has spent three decades and hundreds of billions of dollars fighting a national war on drugs. Has the war on drugs been an effective way of dealing with America's drug problem or does it cause more harm than good? How should we weigh the moral and utilitarian arguments for and against the war on drugs; in other words, do we need to intensify the war on drugs or is it time to declare a cease fire?

Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

PAY IT BACKWARDS: The Federal Budget Surplus

with Milton Friedmanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, December 13, 2000

What should be done with the federal budget surplus? Does it make sense to spend the surplus on new government programs? What benefits the economy more, cutting taxes or paying down the national debt? Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman offers his advice.

Listen Up, Mr. President

by Milton Friedman, Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, July 30, 2000

With the presidential election season heating up, Hoover fellow Peter Robinson asked Hoover fellow Milton Friedman what advice Friedman would offer the next occupant of the Oval Office. The Nobel laureate had plenty of wisdom to dispense.

Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

MILTON'S PARADISE GAINED: Milton Friedman's Advice for the Next President

with Milton Friedmanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, March 10, 2000

What the next President decides to do with the federal budget will impact the lives of each and every one of us. For example, what should the next President do with the current budget surplus—pay down the national debt, set aside money to strengthen Social Security, or cut taxes? Milton Friedman answers these questions as well as addressing how the next President should approach the issues of education, health care, and the future of Social Security.

Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

THE ECONOMY'S NEW CLOTHES: Milton Friedman on the New Economy

with Milton Friedmanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, March 10, 2000

Internet technologies are transforming the way we communicate and do business. But, are we, as some claim, in the midst of the "long boom," a new era of unparalleled prosperity driven by unprecedented technological change or are we merely enjoying a bull market that has yet to begin its inevitable correction? What does the current economic boom have in common with the "Roaring Twenties" and how can we avoid an economic contraction as severe as the Great Depression?

Beware the Funny Money

by Peter Brimelow, Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 30, 1999

Hoover fellow Milton Friedman talks with Hoover media fellow Peter Brimelow about inflation, currency values, and the Asian crisis. An end-of-the-century interview with one of the century’s great economists.

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