Sample of The Power of the Economic Approach: Unpublished Manuscripts of Gary S. Becker,
Edited by Julio J. Elías, Casey B. Mulligan, and Kevin M. Murphy, University of Chicago Press (Forthcoming)
Journal of Human Capital 13, no. 2 (Summer 2019): 140-156.
Gary Becker was one of the most original and influential economists in the history of economics as a science. After Becker accomplished so much, it might seem that little would remain to do on the subject of understanding and predicting human behavior with the traditional tools of economic theory. We agree that he had extraordinary talent and, for example, undertook the study of human capital just before the market value of human capital was about to take off. But Becker taught that human capital has many elements of increasing returns, that initial learning many times increases the incentive to pursue additional learning. The same goes for learning the economic approach to explaining human behavior. The learning that remains is the genesis of the forthcoming book The Power of Economic Approach: Unpublished Manuscripts of Gary S. Becker.