July 17, 2008
Vol. 27 No. 19

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    Beckerís pioneering work garners 2008 Bradley Prize

    By William Harms
    News Office

    Gary Becker, University Professor in Economics and the Graduate School of Business, was one of four individuals to receive a 2008 Bradley Prize last month at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

    “The Bradley Foundation selected Dr. Becker for his original research in the fields of economics and sociology,” said Michael Grebe, President and CEO of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. “Dr. Becker’s pioneering work in the fields of economics and human behavior has revolutionized those fields of study and inspired a generation of economists.

    “Through the Bradley Prizes, we recognize individuals like Dr. Becker who have made outstanding contributions, and we hope to encourage others to strive for excellence in their respective fields,” said Grebe.

    Other recipients are Victor Davis Hanson, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution; Alan Charles Kors, the George H. Walker Term professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania; and Robert Woodson, President of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise. Each award carries a $250,000 stipend.

    Becker was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Sciences in 1992, the National Medal of Science in 2000 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.

    He was recently named a member of the committee that selects winners of the National Medal of Science.

    His 1957 book (his doctoral dissertation), The Economics of Discrimination, combined economic analysis with a study of prejudice against minorities. In his 1964 book, Human Capital, he developed the idea that an investment in a person’s education and training was similar to business investments in new equipment. In his 1981 book, A Treatise on the Family, he expanded that work to a study of the interactions within families. Accounting for Tastes, published in 1996, showed how preferences are formed.

    Founded in 1985, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation is devoted to strengthening American democratic capitalism and the institutions, principles and values that sustain and nurture it. Its programs support limited, competent government; a dynamic marketplace for economic, cultural activity; and a vigorous defense, at home and abroad, of American ideas and institutions.