Economist Gary Becker Dies At 83: University
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[May 05, 2014]
(Reuters) - Gary Becker, whose work
applying the principles of economics to a wide range of human behavior
won the Nobel Prize in 1992, has died at age 83, the University of
Chicago said on Sunday.
Becker, a student of free-market economist Milton Friedman, died
on Saturday after a long illness, the university said on its
website. It gave no more details.
Becker used economic analysis to study such subjects as crime,
discrimination, addiction, population and the family, the university
"Gary was a transformational thinker of truly remarkable impact on
the world and an extraordinary individual," University of Chicago
President Robert Zimmer said in a statement.
Becker got his doctorate in economics at the University of Chicago
in 1955 and published the book "The Economics of Discrimination" two
years later. It looked at prejudice against minorities through the
prism of economics.
His 1981 book "A Treatise on the Family" concluded that working
women had fewer children in part because their time had become more
valuable, the website said.
Becker's early career generated controversy, with other economists
questioning the value of his analysis of social problems.
"For a long time, my type of work was either ignored or strongly
disliked by most of the leading economists," Becker wrote in his
autobiography. "I was considered way out and perhaps not really an
In 2011, Becker said the United States had little choice but to
delay payment of retirement benefits given huge budget deficits. He
called on the U.S. Congress to consider raising the retirement age
to 70 for people without disabilities.
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Becker also served as an economic adviser to California Republican
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Becker was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, and received his
undergraduate degree at Princeton University.
He worked as an assistant professor in economics at the University
of Chicago before leaving to teach at Columbia University in New
York. There, he studied labor economics among other subjects,
according to the website.
He returned to the University of Chicago in 1970. He is survived by
his wife, Guity Nashat Becker, daughters Catherine Becker and Judy
Becker, sister Natalie Becker, stepsons Cyrus Claffey and Michael
Claffey and four grandchildren, the website said.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Ian Simpson and Eric
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