Essence of Becker

Overview

Twenty-six essays in this volume showcase the brilliant originality and range of economic thought that earned Hoover Institution senior fellow Gary S. Becker the Nobel Prize in 1992 and corroborate his reputation as the leading figure in unconventional economics. This, the first published collection of Becker's papers, presents an overview of the fundamental theories and unorthodox applications that inspired Milton Friedman to call Becker "one of the most creative economists of our generation." Becker's ...
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Overview

Twenty-six essays in this volume showcase the brilliant originality and range of economic thought that earned Hoover Institution senior fellow Gary S. Becker the Nobel Prize in 1992 and corroborate his reputation as the leading figure in unconventional economics. This, the first published collection of Becker's papers, presents an overview of the fundamental theories and unorthodox applications that inspired Milton Friedman to call Becker "one of the most creative economists of our generation." Becker's significant contributions evolve from an economic approach to analyzing social issues that ranges beyond those usually considered by economists. By questioning assumptions taken for granted in most economic modeling, Becker sheds new light on previously unconnected and poorly understood social phenomena. Becker's findings not only shift huge problems that other social scientists once considered immovable but also stand up to empirical challenge. His singular axiom - that all actors in the social game are economic persons who maximize their advantages in different cost situations - allows Becker to study persistent racial and sexual discrimination, investment in human capital, crime and punishment, marriage and divorce, the family, drug addiction, and other apparently noneconomic dimensions of society. The essays presented here capture Becker's innovative analyses of these topics and include the text of his Nobel lecture, a personal assessment of his contributions to the profession.
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Editorial Reviews

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A collection of essays by Nobel Prize-winning economist Becker, chronicling the evolution of his thought from economic to social issues such as racial and sexual discrimination, investment in human capital, marriage and the family, and drug addiction. Includes the text of his Nobel lecture, "The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior." Paper edition (9342-8), $25.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817993412
  • Publisher: Hoover Institution Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Series: Publication Series , #42
  • Pages: 720

Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
The Essence of Becker: An Introduction
1 The Economic Approach to Human Behavior 3
2 International Behavior and Economic Theory 18
3 Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis 36
4 A Theory of the Allocation of Time 91
5 Market Insurance, Self-Insurance, and Self-Protection 121
6 A Theory of Social Interactions 150
7 De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum 184
8 A Note on Restaurant Pricing and Other Examples of Social Influences on Price 209
9 Habits, Addictions, and Traditions 218
10 An Economic Analysis of Fertility 241
11 A Theory of Marriage: Part I 273
12 A Theory of Marriage: Part II 310
13 Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology 329
14 Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families 343
15 The Family and the State 382
16 The Forces Determining Discrimination in the Marketplace 403
17 Effective Discrimination 416
18 Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor 434
19 Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach 463
20 Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers 518
21 Competition and Democracy 539
22 Public Policies, Pressure Groups, and Deadweight Costs 544
23 The Classical Monetary Theory: The Outcome of the Discussion 567
24 Family Economics and Macrobehavior 589
25 The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge 608
26 Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior 633
Index 659
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