Posted by: Patrick Allen Foster | May 6, 2014

Gary Becker, RIP

The great economist Gary Becker passed away this past Saturday. He was 83.

Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution has a number of posts on Prof. Becker (see here and here for starts), including this post pointing to a number of open access short pieces by Becker — including a 1958 paper, “Competition and Democracy” (concerning “why government very often does not improve on market outcomes,” as Prof. Cowen puts it).

See also a post by Alex Tabarrok on how Becker influenced economists to study how people invest in human capital.

At the Washington Post Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin has this nice tribute to Becker.

The New York Times has this obituary. (H/T: Althouse.) The Chicago Tribune and The New Yorker also have pieces on Becker.

And then there’s this post by Kieran Healy at Crooked Timber.

Here is Becker’s 1992 Nobel speech (pdf, 21 pages). (H/T: Tyler Cowen.)

For the past nine years and change, Becker ran a blog with Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. (Both were professors at the University of Chicago.) The Becker-Posner Blog featured on average about one post a week from each of the two men, with both Becker and Posner usually writing on the same topic (so that usually Posner was responding to a post by Becker or vice versa). As of this writing, the blog has been on sabbatical since mid-March. Becker’s last two posts there comprise a call for decriminalizing marijuana and a call to end the US embargo on Cuba.

Requiescat in pace.


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