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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Recent Commentary

Friedman FundamentalsAnalysis and Commentary

Federal Drug Policy: A Constant Failure

by Milton Friedmanvia PolicyEd
Thursday, April 8, 2021

The federal drug policy has continued to fail yet the policies remain unchanged.

Friedman FundamentalsAnalysis and Commentary

Collectivism After World War II

by Milton Friedmanvia PolicyEd
Thursday, March 25, 2021

Following World War II, the power and size of the US government grew steadily until the 1980s, when intellectual opinions changed.

Friedman FundamentalsAnalysis and Commentary

How Stagflation Changed Monetary Policy

by Milton Friedmanvia PolicyEd
Thursday, March 4, 2021

Stagflation in the 1970s derailed the Keynesian consensus on monetary policy.

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Tax Rate Hikes And The Economy

by Daniel Heil featuring John H. Cochrane, Michael J. Boskin, Joshua D. Rauh, Milton Friedman, John F. Coganvia Policy Insights | A Succinct Guide to Important Policy Questions
Thursday, February 18, 2021

As a candidate, Biden proposed a series of tax rate increases on high-income families to pay for some of his new programs. What would these tax rate hikes look like, and what would they do to the economy?

Policy InsightsAnalysis and Commentary

Tax Rate Hikes And The Economy

featuring John H. Cochrane, Michael J. Boskin, Joshua D. Rauh, Milton Friedman, John F. Cogan, Daniel Heilvia PolicyEd
Thursday, February 11, 2021

As a candidate, Biden proposed a series of tax rate increases on high-income families to pay for some of his new programs. What would these tax rate hikes look like, and what would they do to the economy?

Friedman FundamentalsFeatured

Our Overgoverned Society

by Milton Friedmanvia PolicyEd
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Our government has become so involved in our everyday affairs that it does not perform the duties only it can accomplish.

Policy InsightsAnalysis and Commentary

What Goes Wrong When The Government Mandates Prices

featuring Russ Roberts, Richard A. Epstein, Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, Lee Ohanian, John H. Cochrane, Daniel Heilvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Prices contain vital information. Too often, governments interfere with them. In an attempt to protect consumers, politicians mandate lower prices. Other times, governments push prices up to benefit certain industries. These efforts might be well intentioned, but they distort the information that prices convey and tend to make us poorer.

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Reasons to Be Thankful

by Daniel Heil featuring Edward Paul Lazear, Russ Roberts, Stephen Haber, Milton Friedman, David C. Mulford, Russell A. Berman, Michael R. Auslin, General Jim Mattisvia Policy Insights | A Succinct Guide to Important Policy Questions
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

This will not be remembered as a year of progress. From the COVID-19 pandemic to geopolitical tensions, it may seem as if the world is going backwards. But we shouldn’t forget that people in the twenty-first century are wealthier and freer than at any other time in history. As we approach the holiday season, let’s explore the many reasons we should be thankful, even in 2020.

Friedman FundamentalsFeatured

Milton Friedman Explains The Great Depression

by Milton Friedmanvia PolicyEd
Thursday, November 5, 2020

Many people believe the Great Depression was a failure of capitalism, but it was extended and intensified by many misguided government policies.

Friedman FundamentalsAnalysis and Commentary

Liberal, Classical Liberal, Libertarian

by Milton Friedmanvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The embrace of liberty is the marker of true liberalism. But the term “liberal” has changed over time.

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