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.

Filter By:



Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Reforming Immigration Policy

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

Why We Support a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax

by George P. Shultz, Gary S. Beckervia Wall Street Journal
Sunday, April 7, 2013

Americans like to compete on a level playing field. All the players should have an equal opportunity to win based on their competitive merits, not on some artificial imbalance that gives someone or some group a special advantage.

Analysis and Commentary

Business, Competition, and Corruption

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

The Decline in Illegal Immigration From Mexico

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Sunday, March 24, 2013
an image
Analysis and Commentary

A Better Strategy for Faster Growth

by George P. Shultz, Gary S. Becker, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, Allan H. Meltzer, John B. Taylorvia Wall Street Journal
Sunday, March 24, 2013

Washington has become a city of tactics, obsessed with finger pointing, fear mongering and political spin. These maneuvers—designed for temporary political or personal gain—have produced incoherent policies and left the nation's pressing problems unaddressed.


Analysis and Commentary

The Dismal Future for Workers With Few Skills

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

Extending Social Security and Medicare Eligibility Ages

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

Higher Education is Still a Very Good Investment

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

A Market Solution to Immigration Reform

by Gary S. Becker, Edward Paul Lazearvia Wall Street Journal
Friday, March 1, 2013

Since the recession formally ended in June 2009, the American economy has been growing at a rate of 2%, about one percentage point below its long-term average. To improve this performance, the U.S.

Analysis and Commentary

Will the Sequester Be an Economic Disaster?

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Sunday, February 24, 2013