Gary Becker, Still an Optimist

Peter Robinson interviews Gary Becker about healthcare reform, the future of capitalism, and what this November's elections will bring.

Becker and Posner's Uncommon Sense

The popular Becker-Posner blog has been turned into an excellent book entitled Uncommon Sense.

For anyone who wants a quick and easy crash course on Chicago economics-style thinking, this book is as good as it gets. I

Answer to the Freakonomics Quiz: What Gary Becker Says Economics Is All About

Last week, I offered up a quiz asking what Gary Becker thought the only purpose of economics was. His answer was so surprising to me, that just to make sure I had it right, I asked him again after I made the post.

He confirmed his answer, and said that it is the same answer he would have given 50 years ago when he started studying economics.

A Freakonomics Quiz: Inside the Mind of Gary Becker

The annual skit party in the University of Chicago economics department gives the graduate students their one chance each year to exact revenge on the faculty for all the tough love/mistreatment we give them the other 364 days of the year.

At this year's skit party, there was a faculty version of the old Bob Eubanks TV show The Newlywed Game. My partner was the legendary economist Gary Becker. Alas, we did not fare well.

Becker and Murphy on the Stimulus Package

Gary Becker and Kevin Murphy write today in The Wall Street Journal about their concerns regarding the stimulus package. There are no two economists in the world who I respect more than Becker and Murphy. Whatever your political bent, when these two write something, you should think hard about their arguments.

An Award Even Gary Becker Doesn’t Have

Hats off to economist Roland Fryer, Joel Klein, the rest of the folks in the New York City Department of Education, and Droga5 for taking home the Titanium Lion prize at the Cannes Lions advertising festival for their work on “Million.” Million is the innovative NYC schools program that puts a specially designed cellphone into […]

What’s Behind the Gender Gap in Education?

Girls have a built-in neurological advantage over boys when it comes to language skills, according to new research from Northwestern University and the University of Haifa. The researchers found that while girls can easily process language in the abstract, boys depend more on their senses. The upshot is that boys may need to be taught […]

‘The Logic of Life’

Tim Harford, a.k.a. the Undercover Economist, has a new book out called The Logic of Life. Tim is a very fine economist, writer, TV host, and “agony uncle” (that’s British for “advice columnist”). Yes, he is also British. Although I have blogged in the past about the untrustworthiness of book blurbs, let me say here […]

Are All Deaths Suicides?

What does it mean to use “the economic approach” to thinking about the world? In the old days, if you asked 100 people this question, I bet at least 80 of them would have given some kind of answer having to do with dollars and cents, supply and demand, etc. Over the past few decades, […]

Kidneys for Sale?

There’s an interesting article about organ transplantation in today’s Wall Street Journal, by Laura Meckler. It’s primarily about a transplant surgeon named Arthur Matas who has been advocating for the legalization of kidney sales in the U.S. Despite much opposition in the transplant community, Matas has been making headway: Appearing at a January meeting of […]