The Economic Approach to Human Behavior

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, 1976 - Business & Economics - 314 pages
2 Reviews
Since his pioneering application of economic analysis to racial discrimination, Gary S. Becker has shown that an economic approach can provide a unified framework for understanding all human behavior. In a highly readable selection of essays Becker applies this approach to various aspects of human activity, including social interactions; crime and punishment; marriage, fertility, and the family; and "irrational" behavior.

"Becker's highly regarded work in economics is most notable in the imaginative application of 'the economic approach' to a surprising breadth of human activity. Becker's essays over the years have inevitably inspired a surge of research activity in testimony to the richness of his insights into human activities lying 'outside' the traditionally conceived economic markets. Perhaps no economist in our time has contributed more to expanding the area of interest to economists than Becker, and a number of these thought-provoking essays are collected in this book."—Choice

Gary Becker was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Science in 1992.
  

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Contents

The Economic Approach to Human Behavior
3
Price and Prejudice
15
Effective Discrimination
17
Law and Politics
31
Competition and Democracy
33
Crime and Punishment An Economic Approach
39
Time and Household Production
87
A Theory of the Allocation of Time
89
Irrational Behavior and Economic Theory
153
Marriage Fertility and the Family
169
An Economic Analysis of Fertility
171
On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children
195
A Theory of Marriage
205
Social Interactions
251
A Theory of Social Interactions
253
Altruism Egoism and Genetic Fitness Economics and Sociobiology
282

The Allocation of Time and Goods over Time
115
On the New Theory of Consumer Behavior
131
Irrational Behavior
151

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About the author (1976)

Gary S. Becker (1930-2014) was University Professor at the University of Chicago with a joint appointment in both the economics and sociology departments. He was the author of many books, including Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis and The Economics of Discrimination. He collaborated with Richard Posner on the Becker-Posner Blog, which formed the basis for their book Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism. Becker was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1992 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.

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