Friday, June 25, 2010

In praise of Gary Becker

A nice puff piece from the University of Chicago on Gary Becker.

I think this bit sums it up:
In fact, Levitt came to Chicago, in part, to “know the enemy for a year or two.” Instead, Becker completely won over Levitt. “What Gary Becker has done over the last 50 years is fundamentally change how economists think about their profession. He did that by broadening the scope for what economists think is economics. He showed that every topic under the sun is ripe for economic study,” Levitt says.
I am not sure about the bit that claims that Kevin Murphy is an "up and coming" scholar. I think he has pretty much arrived.

I actually started working on a dissertation on the effects of AFDC on children under Becker while Heckman was away at Yale. Becker was kind enough to encourage me to work with Heckman when the opportunity arose, saying that he thought it would be good for me but suggesting that the topic I was working on with him was more interesting than the topics I would be working on with Heckman.

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