Former Hoover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman.

Milton Friedman


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

Katrina and Vouchers

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 30, 2006

The private market can provide schooling for the children now returning to post-Katrina schools n New Orleans faster—and better—than can the state. By Milton Friedman.

The Father of Modern School Reform

by Milton Friedman, Nick Gillespievia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 30, 2006

Fifty years after he first proposed school vouchers, Milton Friedman is still on the case. An extended interview with Nick Gillespie of Reason magazine.

Free to Choose

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, July 30, 2005

Half a century after he first proposed school vouchers, Milton Friedman, the “Father of School Choice,” is still on the case.

The Battle's Half Won

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

We have succeeded in stalling socialism. Can the Bush administration reverse it? By Milton Friedman.

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Freedom’s Friend

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 30, 2004

“Few people in human history have contributed more to the achievement of human freedom than Ronald Wilson Reagan.” By Milton Friedman.

What Every American Wants

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 2003

The president has proposed sweeping tax cuts. Hover fellow and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman approves.

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The Market Can Transform Our Schools

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, October 30, 2002

It’s time to bring elementary and secondary education out of the nineteenth century and into the twenty-first. By Hoover fellow Milton Friedman.

After the Bubble

by Milton Friedmanvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

What do the stock market crash of 1929, Japan’s decade-old recession, and the recent dot-com implosion in the United States have in common? More than you might suppose. By Hoover fellow Milton Friedman.

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.