Milton Friedman

Stanford University

July 31, 1912 - November 16, 2006


Election Year: 1973
Scientific Discipline: Economic Sciences
Membership Type: Member

Milton Friedman is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in American economic history. He is recognized as the leader of the Chicago school of monetary economics, which encourages government use of monetary policy to influence the economy. In the field of statistics, Friedman contributed a concept known as sequential analysis, which essentially lowered the cost of hypothesis testing and enabled conclusions to be made much more quickly than classical testing methods allowed. Friedman’s extensive knowledge of public affairs additionally gave him access to a public forum through which he advocated free-market capitalist ideals.

Friedman graduated from Rutgers University in 1932 and earned his PhD from Columbia University in 1946. He received an offer to teach at the University of Chicago in 1946 and remained at the institution for thirty years. In 1977 Friedman was recognized for his influential work by the award of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. He then became a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution in 1977. Aside from his academic career, Friedman advised a number of politicians, such as Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, on matters of public policy during their campaigns. Friedman was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988.

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