Roads to Wisdom, Conversations with Ten Nobel Laureates in Economics
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Roads to Wisdom, Conversations with Ten Nobel Laureates in Economics

Karen Ilse Horn

Karen Horn’s remarkable interviews with ten Nobel Laureates explore the conditions required for scientific progress by navigating the ‘roads to wisdom’ in economic science.
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Chapter 7: Gary S. Becker

Karen Ilse Horn


University of Chicago, IL, USA © Peter Badge/Typos1 in cooperation with the Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings at Lake Constance, all rights reserved. The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1992 ‘for having extended the domain of microeconomic analysis to a wide range of human behavior and interaction, including nonmarket behavior’. INTRODUCTION Finally, Gary S. Becker turns around the corner, walking leisurely, hands in his pockets. He sits down with me in the lobby of the New Otani Hotel in Tokyo, Japan, where we both attend the 60th Anniversary General Meeting of the Mont Pèlerin Society – the famous platform for debate between classical liberal thinkers from diverse backgrounds and fields of research that Friedrich August von Hayek initiated in 1947. Becker, who had served as president of the Mont Pèlerin Society 1990–92, was the head of the program committee this time, much to the benefit of the meeting. The conference program shows that he has brought many of his friends and co-authors – amongst them Edward Lazear, now head of the Council of Economic Advisers to the American President. Gary Becker tries out the sofa first and then switches over to the not so soft chair where he finds a more comfortable position. His back aches a bit; he blames it on 132 Gary S. Becker 133 an overdose of exercise in the hotel gym. Sports are still very high on his priority list, just like in his younger years. However, and as usual, Becker...

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