Gary Becker was a member of the committee that evaluated my dissertation to determine whether it was good enough for me to be awarded a doctorate. It was he who critiqued what I had hoped was my final draft and told me I needed to do additional research before it would be acceptable. Though I doubted whether I could do what he asked me to do, nine months later, I completed another draft that he approved. I am grateful that he applied his rigorous standards to my work.
Becker’s passion for applying economics to public policy continued until the end of his life. One of the ways he remained active as a scholar and public intellectual was in creating and a writing a blog with Richard Posner. He started blogging in 2002, and his last two entries into the Becker-Posner blog were written in March of this year. In these, he argued in favor of legalizing marijuana and ending the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba.
Along with many other students of his, I will miss my mentor and teacher, Gary Becker.
Photo credit: In Memoriam Day (Flickr)
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