Chapter 3: Milton Friedman
To the economics profession, and indeed the world over, Milton Friedman is probably the best known, and in some circles most objectionable, economist of the twentieth century. I asked his secretary for a complete bibliography of Professor Friedman’s research, hoping to present an extensive summation for this biographical sketch. It is 41 pages long. Perhaps some of the many highlights will be adequate. Markets and the efficiency of competitive capitalism have no more effective voice than Milton Friedman. His ,1962 book Capitalism and Freedom remains a tour de force and has been translated into 18 different languages. Friedman’s theoretical and methodological contributions, Income of Independent Professional Practice (with Simon Kuznets), Essays in Positive Economics, Studies in the Quantity Theory ofhfoney,A Theory of the Consumption Function, and his 1968 Presidential Address to the American Economic Association “The Role of Monetary Policy,’’ are but a few of his many great intellectual achievements. He was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal of the American Economic Association in 1951 and the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976. Readers are referred to the book The Essence ofFriedman for a masterful summary of his remarkable career. Beyond all doubt, his book with Anna Schwartz, A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1 960, is one of the most important and most enduring contributions to the literature on the Great Depression. No other work regarding the failures of Federal Reserve policy and the economic effects of the catastrophic decline in the money supply in propagating...
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