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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.

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