Great Economists Since Petty and Boisguilbert
Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz
Life Milton Friedman was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 31 July 1912, the fourth child of Jewish immigrants from today’s Ukraine. At 13 months old, his family moved to New Jersey, where Friedman spent his youth in school and helping out at the family’s store. While his parents never attracted great wealth – his father was a jobber commuting to New York and, at some point, a merchant, his mother led a few attempts at small businesses run from their home – they managed to keep the family solvent, placed a high value on education and probably gave Milton his perspective of a producer in a competitive environment when talking about the economy or politics. After high school, he went to Rutgers University and completed his undergraduate studies of mathematics and economics in 1932. Under the influence of the Great Depression, Friedman decided to further pursue economics. He was granted a scholarship at the University of Chicago, where he met his future wife Rose. Having already spent a year at Columbia University in his second year of graduate studies, he returned there in 1945 to receive his PhD. In spite of his difficult economic background, Friedman always regarded and admired a market economy as the only social order capable of combining personal freedom with individual as well as collective prosperity. Nevertheless, his view on US capitalism was still differentiated: after holding a research position at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), he worked at the Treasury and helped introduce an...
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