How Gary Becker Saw the Scourge of Discrimination

In the 1950s, few economists thought of phenomena such as racial discrimination as under their purview. That changed in 1957, when Gary S. Becker, Professor of Economics and of Sociology at the University of Chicago and at Chicago Booth before his death in 2014, published The Economics of Discrimination, a book based on his 1955 PhD thesis.

Becker’s analysis would extend the reach of economics, and … [ Read more ]

Accounting For Tastes: A Simple Theory of Advertising As A Good Or Bad

“Economists, traditionally, have had a very uneasy relationship with advertising,” says University of Chicago professor Gary Becker. “Consumer preferences were thought to be either too stable or too easily manipulated.” But in his latest book, “Accounting For Tastes,” Becker employs the tools of modern economic analysis to confront the problem of preferences and values — how they are formed and how they affect our behavior. … [ Read more ]