Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Thank you Professor Becker

Gary Becker was the biggest influence on my advisor, Eddie Lazear, and by transitivity, me. In terms of applying simple mathematical models based on the assumption that people take purposeful actions, motivated not just by money, but on things like values, emotion, and culture. I agree that he may have had the most profound influences on the social sciences in the past half century, where his work is routinely cited across the social science disciplines, and was fundamental to the economic imperialism into other disciplines that has let me study the economics of apologies and guilt and social identity. I was fortunate enough to get to have lunch with him just a few months ago so it is shocking to hear of his passing. Thank you, Professor Becker, and may he rest in peace.

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