Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker died Saturday. For those of you who don’t know about his work, go here. For the rest of you, economist Tyler Cowen has compiled a great list of articles by Becker that you can read:
- “Irrational Behavior and Economic Theory.” Can the theorems of economics survive the assumption of irrational behavior? (hint: yes)
- “Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology.” The title says it all, from 1976.
- “A Note on Restaurant Pricing and Other Examples of Social Influence on Price.” Why don’t successful restaurants just raise the prices for Saturday night seatings?
- “The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality” (with Philipson and Soares). The causes and importance of converging lifespans.
- “Competition and Democracy.“ From 1958, but most people still ignore this basic point about why government very often does not improve on market outcomes.
- “The Challenge of Immigration: A Radical Solution.” Auction off the right to enter this country.
And economist Mario Rizzo shares some short thoughts about Becker’s work in relation to the Austrian School of Economics (Becker is associated with the Chicago School of Economics). Rizzo’s account of the early 1960s debate on rationality between Becker and Kirzner is worth a look.
Update: Here is Gary Becker’s 1992 Nobel Prize lecture (pdf)