Bend it like Becker by Simon W. Bowmaker
Edited by Simon W. Bowmaker
Bend it like Becker Simon W. Bowmaker Gary Becker is University Professor of Economics and Sociology at the University of Chicago and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is best known for his work on microeconomic issues including human capital, economics of the family, economic analysis of crime, discrimination and population. His books include, A Treatise on the Family (1981 and 1991), The Economic Approach to Human Behavior (1976), The Economics of Discrimination (1957 and 1971), Human Capital (1964), Accounting for Tastes (1996) and The Economics of Life (1997). In 1992, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Science, ‘for having extended the domain of microeconomic analysis to a wide range of human behaviour and interaction, including nonmarket behaviour’. I interviewed Gary Becker on Friday, 12 March 2004 in his oﬃce at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Early discrimination This book applies microeconomics to social issues. I understand that when you were ﬁrst introduced to economics as a Princeton undergraduate the subject did not help you understand such issues. Why was this and what made you change your mind? Well, I didn’t believe it helped me understand social issues because of the way price theory and economics was taught, particularly in those days. I had a very respectable teacher, but it was taught like a series of simple formal propositions with no connection with real world problems. That bothered me a lot. I did well on the courses, but I felt there was a...