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Gary Becker Quotes (13 Quotes)


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  • The amount of crime is determined not only by the rationality and preferences of would-be criminals, but also by the economic and social environment created by public policies, including expenditures on police, punishments for different crimes, and opportunities for employment, schooling, and training programs.
    (Gary Becker)

  • My work on human capital began with an effort to calculate both private and social rates of return to men, women, blacks, and other groups from investments in different levels of education.
    (Gary Becker)

  • A stronger yuan could lead to greater Chinese asset accumulation in the U.S. and elsewhere.
    (Gary Becker)

  • Fines are preferable to imprisonment and other types of punishment because they are more efficient. With a fine, the punishment to offenders is also revenue to the State.
    (Gary Becker)

  • A literature has developed on whether discrimination in the marketplace due to prejudice disappears in the long run. Whether employers who do not want to discriminate will eventually compete away all discriminating employers depends not only on the distribution of tastes for discrimination among potential employers, but critically also on the nature of firm production functions.
    (Gary Becker)


  • Still, intuitive assumptions about behavior is only the starting point of systematic analysis, for alone they do not yield many interesting implications.
    (Gary Becker)

  • The Treatise tries to analyze not only modern Western families, but also those in other cultures and the changes in family structure during the past several centuries.
    (Gary Becker)

  • The analysis assumes that individuals maximize welfare as they conceive it, whether they be selfish, altruistic, loyal, spiteful, or masochistic. Their behavior is forward-looking, and it is also consistent over time.
    (Gary Becker)

  • Is it fair or wise to place strict controls on legal immigration when little is done to stem illegal entry Preference should be given to younger persons who will get jobs and are likely to make a long-term commitment to the country, such as the many men and women who want to study at American universities.
    (Gary Becker)

  • I was not sympathetic to the assumption that criminals had radically different motivations from everyone else.
    (Gary Becker)

  • Human capital analysis starts with the assumption that individuals decide on their education, training, medical care, and other additions to knowledge and health by weighing the benefits and costs. Benefits include cultural and other non-monetary gains along with improvement in earnings and occupations, while costs usually depend mainly on the foregone value of the time spent on these investments.
    (Gary Becker)

  • Evidence from many countries on the earnings, unemployment, and occupations of blacks, women, religious groups, immigrants, and others has expanded enormously during the past twenty-five years. This evidence more fully documents the economic position of minorities and how that changes in different environments.
    (Gary Becker)

  • Why in almost all societies have married women specialized in bearing and rearing children and in certain agricultural activities, whereas married men have done most of the fighting and market work?
    (Gary Becker)


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