Daily Archives: June 16, 2014

Gary Becker’s Nobel Prize for Getting It all Wrong: The Family

By William K. Black

George Stigler celebrated Gary Becker as theoclassical economics’ schwerpunkt that led their blitzkrieg assault on other social sciences.  Stigler proudly called economics the “Imperial” discipline.  The idea that imperialism was a desirable trait is a typical example of Stigler’s blindness to history and human suffering.  Stigler famously proclaimed that economics alone was actually a social “science” because only it had a theory of human motivation (maximizing self-interest).  The Sveriges Riksbank Prize announcement in 1992 cited Becker’s imperialistic forays into the family, human “capital,” discrimination, and crime as the basis of their award.

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