Human Capital is Becker's classic study of how investment in an individual's education and training is similar to business investments in equipment. Recipient of the 1992 Nobel Prize in Economic Science, Gary S. Becker is a pioneer of applying economic analysis to human behavior in such areas as discrimination, marriage, family relations, and education. Becker's research on human capital was considered by the Nobel committee to be his most noteworthy contribution to economics.
This expanded edition includes four new chapters, covering recent ideas about human capital, fertility and economic growth, the division of labor, economic considerations within the family, and inequality in earnings.
"Critics have charged that Mr. Becker's style of thinking reduces humans to economic entities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Becker gives people credit for having the power to reason and seek out their own best destiny."—Wall Street Journal
The original aim of this study was to estimate the money rate of return to college and high-school education in the United States. In order to set these estimates in the proper context, a brief formulation of the theory of investment in human capital was undertaken. It soon became clear to me, however, that more than a restatement was called for; while important and pioneering work had been done on the economic return to various occupations arid education classes,2 there had been few, if any, attempts to treat the process of investing in people from a general viewpoint or to work out a broad set of empirical implications. I began then to prepare a general analysis of investment in human capital.
Gary S. Becker
Gary Stanley Becker, who won the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Science in 1992, is the Rose-Marie and Jack R. Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and University Professor of Economics and Sociology at the University of Chicago.
Becker is recognized for his expertise in human capital, economics of the family, and economic analysis of crime, discrimination, and population.
His current research focuses on habits and addictions, formation of preferences, human capital, and population growth.
Becker writes commentary for The Becker-Posner Blog. He served as an economic policy adviser for the Dole presidential campaign in 1996. He received the National Medal of Science in 2000 for his work in social policy and was the 2004 recipient of the Jacob Mincer Prize for lifetime achievement in the field of labor economics.
Becker's publications include Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism (2009) coauthored with Richard Posner, and (with Guity Nashat) The Economics of Life (McGraw Hill, 1997) and Accounting for Tastes (Harvard University Press, 1996). He is the author of numerous other books, including the seminal work Human Capital (Columbia University Press, 1964; 3rd edition, 1993), which was awarded the prestigious W.S.Woytinskty Award in 1964.
In addition to being a Nobel laureate, Becker is a recipient of the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom.
He holds honorary degrees from a dozen universities, including Hebrew University in Jerusalem (doctor philosophae honoris causa), Knox College, Illinois (doctor of laws), Princeton University (doctor of humane letters), Columbia University (doctor of humane letters), and the University of Illinois at Chicago (doctor of arts).
Becker was a professor at the University of Chicago from 1954 to 1957 and at Columbia University from 1957 to 1968. In 1968–1969 he was a Ford Foundation visiting professor of economics at the University of Chicago before joining the Department of Economics there in 1970.
Becker received an AB (summa cum laude) from Princeton University in 1951, an AM from the University of Chicago in 1952, and a PhD from the University of Chicago in 1955.