Gary S. Becker
Gary Stanley Becker was born in 1930 in Pottsville. He studied economics at Princeton University and the University of Chicago, where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1955. His doctoral dissertation, written under the supervision of Milton Friedman, became the book The Economics of Discrimination published in 1957, with a second edition in 1971. The work starts by asking how much people are willing to give up to avoid interaction with others, with the implication that public policy can discourage discrimination by raising the price of it.
In 1992, Mr. Becker received the Nobel Prize for Economics for "having extended the domain of economic theory to disciplines such as sociology, demography and criminology" and for showing that rational economic incentives influence decision making in "areas where researchers formerly assumed that behaviour is habitual and often downright irrational".
Mr. Becker is the author of numerous books and was awarded several international prizes. Among many other positions, he has been President and Vice-President of the American Economic Association and is an associate member of the Institute of Fiscal and Monetary Policy of the Ministry of Finance in Japan. He has also been writing a column for Business Week since 1985. Mr. Becker is currently Professor of Economics and Sociology at the University of Chicago.
This text excerpted from 10 Nobels for the Future.