Uncommon Sense

Author: Gary S. Becker
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226041034
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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On December 5, 2004, the still-developing blogosphere took one of its biggest steps toward mainstream credibility, as Nobel Prize–winning economist Gary S. Becker and renowned jurist and legal scholar Richard A. Posner announced the formation of the Becker-Posner Blog. In no time, the blog had established a wide readership and reputation as a reliable source of lively, thought-provoking commentary on current events, its pithy and profound weekly essays highlighting the value of economic reasoning when applied to unexpected topics. Uncommon Sense gathers the most important and innovative entries from the blog, arranged by topic, along with updates and even reconsiderations when subsequent events have shed new light on a question. Whether it’s Posner making the economic case for the legalization of gay marriage, Becker arguing in favor of the sale of human organs for transplant, or even the pair of scholars vigorously disagreeing about the utility of collective punishment, the writing is always clear, the interplay energetic, and the resulting discussion deeply informed and intellectually substantial. To have a single thinker of the stature of a Becker or Posner addressing questions of this nature would make for fascinating reading; to have both, writing and responding to each other, is an exceptionally rare treat. With Uncommon Sense, they invite the adventurous reader to join them on a whirlwind intellectual journey. All they ask is that you leave your preconceptions behind.

Human Capital

Author: Gary S. Becker
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226041223
Format: PDF, Docs
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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 Economics of Discrimination

Author: Gary S. Becker
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226041049
Format: PDF, ePub
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This second edition of Gary S. Becker's The Economics of Discrimination has been expanded to include three further discussions of the problem and an entirely new introduction which considers the contributions made by others in recent years and some of the more important problems remaining. Mr. Becker's work confronts the economic effects of discrimination in the market place because of race, religion, sex, color, social class, personality, or other non-pecuniary considerations. He demonstrates that discrimination in the market place by any group reduces their own real incomes as well as those of the minority. The original edition of The Economics of Discrimination was warmly received by economists, sociologists, and psychologists alike for focusing the discerning eye of economic analysis upon a vital social problem—discrimination in the market place. "This is an unusual book; not only is it filled with ingenious theorizing but the implications of the theory are boldly confronted with facts. . . . The intimate relation of the theory and observation has resulted in a book of great vitality on a subject whose interest and importance are obvious."—M.W. Reder, American Economic Review "The author's solution to the problem of measuring the motive behind actual discrimination is something of a tour de force. . . . Sociologists in the field of race relations will wish to read this book."—Karl Schuessler, American Sociological Review

Social Economics

Author: Gary Stanley Becker
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674020641
Format: PDF, ePub
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Economists assume that people make choices based on their preferences and their budget constraints. The preferences and values of others play no role in the standard economic model. This feature has been sharply criticized by other social scientists, who believe that the choices people make are also conditioned by social and cultural forces. Economists, meanwhile, are not satisfied with standard sociological and anthropological concepts and explanations because they are not embedded in a testable, analytic framework. In this book, Gary Becker and Kevin Murphy provide such a framework by including the social environment along with standard goods and services in their utility functions. These extended utility functions provide a way of analyzing how changes in the social environment affect people's choices and behaviors. More important, they also provide a way of analyzing how the social environment itself is determined by the interactions of individuals. Using this approach, the authors are able to explain many puzzling phenomena, including patterns of drug use, how love affects marriage patterns, neighborhood segregation, the prices of fine art and other collectibles, the social side of trademarks, the rise and fall of fads and fashions, and the distribution of income and status.

Economic Theory

Author: Gary S Becker
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351327666
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Others might have called this book Micro Theory or Price Theory. Becker's choice of Economic Theory as the title for his book reflects his deep belief that there is only one kind of economic theory, not separate theories for micro problems, macro problems, non-market decisions, and so on. Indeed, as he notes, the most promising development in recent years in the literature on large scale economic problems such as unemployment has been the increasing reliance on utility maximization, a concept generally identified with microeconomics. Microeconomics is the subject matter of this volume, but it is emphatically not confined to microeconomics in the literal sense of micro units like firms or households. Becker's main interest is in market behavior of aggregations of firms and households. Although important inferences are drawn about individual firms and households, the author tries to understand aggregate responses to changes in basic economic parameters like tax rates, tariff schedules, technology, or antitrust provisions. His discussion is related to the market sector in industrialized economies, but the principles developed are applied to other sectors and different kinds of choices. Becker argues that economic analysis is essential to understand much of the behavior traditionally studied by sociologists, anthropologists, and other social scientists. The broad definition of economics in terms of scarce means and competing ends is taken seriously and should be a source of pride to economists since it provides insights into a wide variety of problems. Practically all statements proved mathematically are also provided geometrically or verbally in the body of the text.

The Economic Approach to Human Behavior

Author: Gary S. Becker
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226041124
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

Plural Marriage for Our Times

Author: Philip Leroy Kilbride
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313384789
Format: PDF, Docs
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This thoroughly revised second edition offers a child-centered, international perspective as it urges America to de-stigmatize alternate family forms. * Includes an extensive bibliography

Unnatural Selection

Author: Mara Hvistendahl
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1586489917
Format: PDF, ePub
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Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize A Slate Best Book of 2011 A Discover Magazine Best Book of 2011 Lianyungang, a booming port city, has China's most extreme gender ratio for children under four: 163 boys for every 100 girls. These numbers don't seem terribly grim, but in ten years, the skewed sex ratio will pose a colossal challenge. By the time those children reach adulthood, their generation will have twenty-four million more men than women. The prognosis for China's neighbors is no less bleak: Asia now has 163 million females "missing" from its population. Gender imbalance reaches far beyond Asia, affecting Georgia, Eastern Europe, and cities in the U.S. where there are significant immigrant populations. The world, therefore, is becoming increasingly male, and this mismatch is likely to create profound social upheaval. Historically, eras in which there have been an excess of men have produced periods of violent conflict and instability. Mara Hvistendahl has written a stunning, impeccably-researched book that does not flinch from examining not only the consequences of the misbegotten policies of sex selection but Western complicity with them.

Richard Posner

Author: William Domnarski
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199332339
Format: PDF, ePub
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Judge Richard Posner is one of the great legal minds of our age, on par with such generation-defining judges as Holmes, Hand, and Friendly. A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the principal exponent of the enormously influential law and economics movement, he writes provocative books as a public intellectual, receives frequent media attention, and has been at the center of some very high-profile legal spats. He is also a member of an increasingly rare breed-judges who write their own opinions rather than delegating the work to clerks-and therefore we have unusually direct access to the workings of his mind and judicial philosophy. Now, for the first time, this fascinating figure receives a full-length biographical treatment. In Richard Posner, William Domnarski examines the life experience, personality, academic career, jurisprudence, and professional relationships of his subject with depth and clarity. Domnarski has had access to Posner himself and to Posner's extensive archive at the University of Chicago. In addition, Domnarski was able to interview and correspond with more than two hundred people Posner has known, worked with, or gone to school with over the course of his career, from grade school to the present day. The list includes among others members of the Harvard Law Review, colleagues at the University of Chicago, former law clerks over Posner's more than thirty years on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and even other judges from that court. Richard Posner is a comprehensive and accessible account of a unique judge who, despite never having sat on the Supreme Court, has nevertheless dominated the way law is understood in contemporary America.