Bradley Prize recipient Gary S. Becker is a professor of economics and sociology at The University of Chicago and a professor in its Booth School of Business. He is also the Rose-Marie and Jack R. Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. Prior to coming to The University of Chicago in 1968, he taught at Columbia University for 12 years.
One of the most-influential economists of the past half century, Becker was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1992. He was honored with thePresidential Medal of Freedom in 2007 for his contributions to the intellectual defense of free-market economics. In 2000, Becker received the National Medal of Science and in 1967, the John Bates Clark Medal of the American Economic Association.
He is recognized for his pioneering application of economic reasoning to social-policy issues, as well as for his expertise in human capital, economic incentives, and the economics of the family. Along with Milton Friedman and George Stigler, he is also recognized as a principal exponent of the “Chicago School” of economic analysis.
Becker is the author of more than 10 books and almost 100 professional articles. For many years, he wrote a monthly column for Business Week magazine that articulated the case for government restraint and the value of individual choice. His “Becker-Posner Blog,”written with federal Judge Richard Posner, continues to offer economic insights on policy questions.
He serves on the board of Faster Cures, the Advisory Committee on Financial Innovation at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and the Hoover Task Force on National Energy Policy. He lectures widely to audiences of academics, business executives, and government officials.
Becker received his B.A. degree from Princeton University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He holds honorary degrees from Harvard University and a number of other prestigious institutions.
“Economics provides a powerful analysis of incentives, an analysis that recognizes individuals make choices to promote their own well-being and that of family and friends and country,” he said during his acceptance remarks. “Economics also recognizes that competition and markets usually induce
companies to serve the public interest even when that is not their goal. Early in my career, I became convinced that these two pillars of the ‘economic approach’ provide numerous insights into a wide set of topics and issues.”