Intellectuals & Academics » Economists » MILTON FRIEDMAN
|Full name||: Milton Friedman|
|Alias||: Milton Friedman|
|Address||: Brooklyn, New York, USA|
|Animals||: The Rat|
|Mother||: Sára Landau|
|Children||: David, Janet|
|Education||: University of Chicago (1933) Rutgers University (1932) Rahway High School (1928) Columbia University|
Milton Friedman was a well-known American economist and professor of statistics at the University of Chicago. He received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He has made his mark among other economists and scholars and is best known for his theoretical and empirical research work in consumption analysis, monetary history and theory for demonstrating the complexity of stabilization policy. He acted as an economic advisor to the U.S. President Ronald Reagan. His political philosophy that propagated the virtues of a free market economic system with little intervention by government is practiced by many governments. His works greatly influenced the research agenda. He also served as the leader of the Chicago school of economics under the University of Chicago. Milton Friedman's works include monographs, books, scholarly articles, papers, magazine columns, television programs, videos, and lectures. He wrote on a variety of topics on microeconomics, macroeconomics, economic history, and public policy issues. Originally a Keynesian supporter of the New Deal, he insisted on the government intervention in the economy. He then founded The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. The Economist called him "the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century…possibly of all of it". He was a prolific writer, who apart from writing books, also contributed regularly to various magazines. His last column was published in ‘The Wall Street Journal’ a day after his death at the age of ninety-four.
Friedman retired from University of Chicago in 1977 and joined Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University as a Senior Research Fellow, remaining there until his death in 2006. Simultaneously, he functioned as the visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Sometime in the late 1970s, he also worked on ‘Free to Choose’, a television program consisting of ten episodes in which he presented his economic and social philosophy. The first program appeared in January 1980. Since then, it has been shown in many foreign countries.
Also in 1980, Friedman served as an unofficial adviser to Ronald Reagan during the latter’s presidential campaign. Thereafter, he served on President Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board.
In 1983, he became the Paul Snowdon Russell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago. He continued to write for various journals and appear on various television programs.
‘Capitalism and Freedom’ is believed to be Freidman’s most significant work. The book has been translated into eighteen languages and has sold over half a million copy since its first publication in 1962. In it, Freidman had established that economic freedom is a precondition of political freedom.
Milton Friedman was born on July 31, 1912 in Brooklyn, New York. His parents Jenő Saul Friedman and Sára Ethel (née Landau) were Jewish emigrants from Beregszász in Carpathian Ruthenia, Kingdom of Hungary (now Berehove in Ukraine). Friedman was the youngest of his parents’ four children.
When he was a year old, the family relocated to Rahway, New Jersey. There his mother opened a dry good shop and his father was variously employed. Although the family was financially weak they had enough to eat and the environment at home was always warm and supportive.
In 1928, Friedman graduated from Rahway High School. Unfortunately, his father had passed away by this time, resulting in worsening financial condition at home. It became clear that if he wanted to study further he would have to finance it himself.
Fortunately, he was awarded a competitive scholarship to Rutgers University. Financing rest of the expenses by doing odd jobs, he earned his B.A. degree in 1932, majoring in mathematics and economics.
Subsequently, he joined the University of Chicago with a scholarship in economics and earned his M.A. degree in 1933. He then received a fellowship at Columbia University and spent the 1933-1934 studying statistics with Harold Hotelling.
On returning to Chicago, he spent the 1934-1935 academic year working as a research assistant for Henry Schultz. However, his economic condition demanded that he should immediately get a job.
In 1932, while studying at Chicago University, Friedman met Rose Director, a shy but brilliant student at the same department. They got married six years later in 1938. She was also a free market economist and they frequently collaborated with each other professionally.
The couple had two children; Janet and David Friedman. David grew up to be a famous economist, legal scholar, and libertarian theorist, best known for his 1973 book ‘The Machinery of Freedom’.
Friedman died in San Francisco from heart failureon November 16, 2006. Although he was 94 years old at the time of his death he was still active in research work and contributed regularly to various journals.
Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, which he had cofounded with his wife in 1996 continues to bear his legacy.
In 1976, Friedman received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his "contributions to consumption analysis and to monetary history and theory, including observations of the complexity of stabilization policy".
Besides, he also received John Bates Clark Medal (1951), National Medal of Science (1988) and Presidential Medal of Freedom (1988).