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
Biography: 

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

Is Raising the Minimum Wage a Good Idea?

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Monday, February 18, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

Contrived Inequality and Equality

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Monday, February 11, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

Why I Favor Rules Over Discretion

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

Why Has Competition to Get into Top Colleges Become Much Tougher?

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Sunday, January 27, 2013

Should Immigrants Pay at the Gate?

by Gary S. Beckervia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 25, 2013

Countries have many arbitrary ways of deciding who gets in. Here’s one idea that actually makes sense. By Gary S. Becker.

Analysis and Commentary

On the Debt Ceiling

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

Why Does Health in the United States Lag Behind Other Countries’?

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Monday, January 14, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

How Good is the Fiscal Agreement?

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

The Unemployment Rate and Central Bank Policy

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Analysis and Commentary

Is the Business Model Worse Than the Professional Model?

by Gary S. Beckervia Becker-Posner Blog
Monday, December 10, 2012

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