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Gary S. Becker in Chicago, 2008

Gary S. Becker

Gary Becker has passed away. A sad news for CESifo and the entire economics community. Gary was one of the first visiting scholars at the Center for Economic Studies (CES) in 1991, which would go on to become part of CESifo, and was one of the founding members of the CESifo Research Network. He was 83.

Among his many groundbreaking contributions was the opening of economics to sociological issues. His theory of the family, which roughly posits that marriage is like a firm, non-commercial but producing valuable goods and based on the idea of equal exchange and insurance, triggered a fascinating scientific debate that reverberates to this day.

As recently as 2010 he was still active at CESifo, publishing an article on “Happiness, Income and Economic Policy” in the CESifo DICE Report.

The many awards and honours he received in recognition of his scientific contributions included the John Bates Clark Medal (1967), the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (1992), the US National Medal of Science (2000), and the US Presidential Medal of Freedom (2007). 

Our feelings are with his family. And we, the CESifo family, will cherish the memory of his exceptional scholarly and personal qualities. We will deeply miss him.