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Gary Becker

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Gary Stanley Becker (; December 2, 1930 – May 3, 2014) was an American economist and a Nobel laureate in economics. He was a professor of economics and sociology at the University of Chicago, and was a leader of the third generation of the Chicago school of economics.Becker was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1992 and received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. A 2011 survey of economics professors named Becker their favorite living economist over the age of 60, followed by Ken Arrow and Robert Solow. Economist Justin Wolfers called him, “the most important social scientist in the past 50 years.”Becker was one of the first economists to analyze topics that had been researched in sociology, including racial discrimination, crime, family organization, and rational addiction. He argued that many different types of human behavior can be seen as rational and utility maximizing. His approach included altruistic behavior of human behavior by defining individuals’ utility appropriately. He was also among the foremost exponents of the study of human capital. According to Milton Friedman, he was “the greatest social scientist who has lived and worked” in the second part of the twentieth century.