Thursday, June 10, 2021

Milton Friedman: American economist and statistician

Milton Friedman was a world-famous economist and an ardent and effective advocate of the free-market economy. He is one of the most eminent world economists of the second half of the 20th century, and who, together with J. M. Keynes, has most greatly influenced the formation of current (modern) economic theory and policy.

Milton Friedman was born on 31 July 1912, in Brooklyn, New York City. He was the youngest child in a family of poor Jewish immigrants from Carpatho-Ruthenia (then in the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary, now part of independent Ukraine). His parent to Jeno and Sara Friedman who had migrated New York in the mid-1890s.

In 1913, the family moved to the small New Jersey commuter town of Rahway. Friedman graduated from high school in 1928 with ‘a good grounding in language, mathematics, and history’.

From 1928 – 1932 he studied at Rutgers University gaining a baccalaureate in two disciplines concurrently – Mathematics and Economics.
In 1932 Friedman commenced his graduate studies in economics at the University of Chicago where he was awarded an MA in 1933.

At Chicago, where he earned his master’s degree in 1933 Friedman was exposed to the influence of several of the great economists of that era, namely, Frank Knight, Henry Simons, Jacob Viner, Lloyd Mints, Paul Douglas, and Henry Schultz.

In 1937 he accepted a post at Columbia University as a part-time lecturer, and he was subsequently awarded a PhD from Columbia University in 1946. His 1940 PhD thesis,

eventually published as Income from Independent Professional Practice is one of the founding works of modern labour economics; it is also the source of the permanent-transitory distinction that lay at the heart of A Theory of the Consumption Function (1957).

During the Second World War Friedman worked first at the Treasury, where he dealt with tax policy during the war period, later as a mathematical statistician for military economic research.

After the war, Friedman served briefly on the faculty of the University of Minnesota, but in 1946 he returned to the University of Chicago as professor in the Department of Economics, where he remained until his retirement in 1977.

Since 1977 his scientific work has been connected with the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, where he worked as independent scientific employee. In 1983 he became a professor emeritus of Chicago University. Milton Friedman died on Thursday, 16 November 2006.
Milton Friedman: American economist and statistician

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