Daily Archives: June 18, 2014

Gary Becker’s Apology for Discrimination

By William K. Black

Theoclassical economists have strange views on a wide range of subjects including discrimination.  Becker was an economist at U. Chicago.  Richard Epstein, Becker’s colleague at U. Chicago’s law school, cites Becker’s book about discrimination as his key citation to the economics literature expressing doubt about the desirability of laws against discrimination.  Epstein’s book calls for the repeal of all laws and rules limiting discrimination.  Forbidden Grounds: The Case Against Employment Discrimination Laws (1992: 2 n. 2).  Epstein’s poisonous fruit of Becker’s twisted vines was published in the year the Swedish Central Bank awarded its Prize in economics to Becker.  The Swedish Central Bank Prize cited Becker’s work on discrimination as one of the keys leading to his selection for the award.

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