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Becker, Gary S.

Gary Stanley Becker (born December 2, 1930) is an American economist . He is a professor of economics, sociology at the University of Chicago and a professor at the Booth School of Business. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1992, and received the United States' Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.

Becker was one of the first economists to branch into what were traditionally considered topics belonging to sociology, including racial discrimination, crime, family organization, and drug addiction (see Rational addiction). He is known for arguing that many different types of human behavior can be seen as rational and utility maximizing. His approach can include altruistic behavior by defining individuals' utility appropriately. He is also among the foremost exponents of the study of human capital. Becker is also credited with the "rotten kid theorem". He is married to Guity Nashat, a historian of the Middle East whose research interests overlap his own.

 

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