Gary S. Becker

Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Philosophical Society
Econometric Society (elected fellow)
National Academy of Education
National Academy of Sciences

Gary S. Becker passed away on May 3, 2014. He won the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Science in 1992, and was the Rose-Marie and Jack R. Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and University Professor of Economics and Sociology at the University of Chicago.

Becker is recognized for his expertise in human capital, economics of the family, and economic analysis of crime, discrimination, and population.

His research focused on habits and addictions, formation of preferences, human capital, and population growth.

Becker wrote commentary for The Becker-Posner Blog. He served as an economic policy adviser for the Dole presidential campaign in 1996. He received the National Medal of Science in 2000 for his work in social policy and was the 2004 recipient of the Jacob Mincer Prize for lifetime achievement in the field of labor economics.

Becker's publications include Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism (2009) coauthored with Richard Posner, and (with Guity Nashat) The Economics of Life (McGraw Hill, 1997) and Accounting for Tastes (Harvard University Press, 1996). He is the author of numerous other books, including the seminal work Human Capital (Columbia University Press, 1964; 3rd edition, 1993), which was awarded the prestigious W.S.Woytinskty Award in 1964.

In addition to being a Nobel laureate, Becker was a recipient of the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

He held honorary degrees from a dozen universities, including Hebrew University in Jerusalem (doctor philosophae honoris causa), Knox College, Illinois (doctor of laws), Princeton University (doctor of humane letters), Columbia University (doctor of humane letters), and the University of Illinois at Chicago (doctor of arts).

Becker was a professor at the University of Chicago from 1954 to 1957 and at Columbia University from 1957 to 1968. In 1968–1969 he was a Ford Foundation visiting professor of economics at the University of Chicago before joining the Department of Economics there in 1970.

Becker received an AB (summa cum laude) from Princeton University in 1951, an AM from the University of Chicago in 1952, and a PhD from the University of Chicago in 1955.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Education and the Growth of Poverty in United States

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

Technological Change and Natural Resource Prices

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Monday, August 5, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

On Reforming the Patent System

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

Has the Government Spending Sequestration Hurt the Economy?

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Monday, July 15, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

Immigration Reform: Senior Fellow Gary Becker on Senate Immigration Reform Bill

by Gary S. Beckervia Advancing a Free Society
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

What Should a Carbon Tax Look Like?

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

The Senate Bill on Immigration Reform

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Wednesday, July 3, 2013