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Lives of the LaureatesTwenty-three Nobel Economists$
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Roger W. Spencer and David A. Macpherson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027960

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027960.001.0001

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Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman

(p.45) Milton Friedman
Lives of the Laureates

Roger W. Spencer

David A. Macpherson

The MIT Press

This chapter looks at the career of Milton Friedman and those that were an influence on his becoming a Nobel Prize recipient in economics in 1976. Friedman was born in 1912 and went to Rutgers University. He would have entered the actuarial profession, but for two extraordinary teachers: Arthur F. Burns, who would become chairman of the Federal Reserve System, and Homer Jones, who would later become a vice-president at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Another person who influenced Friedman was Jacob Viner who made him realized that economic theory was a coherent, logical whole, and not a set of disjointed propositions. Friedman's doctoral dissertation was the result of a study he worked on under the supervision of another Nobel laureate Simon Kuznets. They collaborated on the publication Income from Independent Professional Practice which used the economic theory of distribution to explain and interpret data on the incomes of various professions. He became active in public policy, using his economic knowledge to try to influence public thought. He also wrote A Theory of the Consumption Function and Price Theory: A Provisional Text.

Keywords:   Milton Friedman, Arthur F. Burns, Homer Jones, Simon Kuznets, Jacob Viner, economic theory of distribution

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