Gary Becker (2 December 1930 – 3 May 2014) was an American economist who made significant contributions to the field of economics, particularly in the areas of human capital, labor economics, and the economics of discrimination. He received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1992 for his work in these areas.
Life and Career
He was born on 2 December 1930 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, United States. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1951, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1955.
He was known for his work in applying economic analysis to a wide range of social phenomena. He developed the concept of human capital, which refers to the skills, knowledge, and other attributes that individuals acquire through education and training. He also studied discrimination, showing how it can be explained in economic terms as a form of market failure.
His research on the economics of education helped to inform education policy around the world, and his work on the labor market helped to inform policies related to employment and wages.
In addition to his contributions to economics, Becker was also known for his public engagement and his efforts to make economics more accessible to a wider audience. He wrote several popular books on economics for a general audience, including “The Economics of Life” and “The Age of Human Capital.” Becker’s work helped to make economics more relevant and understandable to non-economists, and his insights continue to inform research and policy today.
He died on 3 May 2014, in Chicago, Illinois, United States.
Award and Legacy
In 1992, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to microeconomic analysis, including his work on human capital, labor economics, and the economics of discrimination.
He received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the John Bates Clark Medal in 1967 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.
His work has had a lasting impact on economics and other social sciences. He was known for his innovative use of economic analysis to explain a wide range of social phenomena. His work on human capital has had a major impact on education policy, while his research on discrimination has helped to inform efforts to reduce inequalities in society.
In addition to his academic contributions, Becker was also known for his public engagement. He was a frequent commentator on economic issues in the media, and he wrote several popular books on economics for a general audience.