Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman found an intellectual home when he joined the University of Chicago economics faculty in 1946. He spent most of the rest of his career here and remained closely associated with the University throughout his life.

Unquestionably one of the most influential economists and scholars of the 20th century, Friedman received every honor an economist can be awarded, beginning with his receipt of the Clark Medal given every second year by the American Economic Association to the best American economist under 40. He became a member of the National Academy of Sciences when the economics section was first formed. He was elected president of the American Economic Association in 1967, and his presidential address, "The Role of Monetary Policy," remains a classic.

Friedman was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1976 and later the National Medal of Science for his development of the permanent income model of consumption and for his work on monetary history and policy. His seminal theory on consumption—that individuals spend and consume based on expectations of earnings over their lifetime, not just current income—is the precursor to modern models of consumption-savings decisions relevant for both macroeconomics and microeconomics.

In part, his aim was to provide a framework for integrating microeconomic and macroeconomic evidence on consumption and savings behavior as a crucial input into the study of the macroeconomic economy. To understand the role of macroeconomic policy, he worked with Anna Schwartz to develop a comprehensive history of monetary policy. Their book continues to be the important empirical reference for students of monetary economics.

The University of Chicago honored Milton Friedman in celebration of his 90th birthday. During the celebration, he reminded us of what is special about the University:

“During the periods I was at Chicago I had several offers to move elsewhere…. But I couldn't bring myself to leave Chicago, not because of its beautiful climate, but because of the quality and the spirit and the attitude in the Economics Department and indeed the University at large. It's a wonderful place, where people are interested in understanding things and getting at the bottom of things, at the truth, and not primarily in creating a particular record or getting their name in the paper.”

The Milton Friedman Institute was established in 2008 to encourage and enhance the level of scholarship embodied in Friedman's uncompromising scholarship and to promote the spirit of inquiry he so admired at Chicago. In June 2011, the Institute joined with the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory to become the Gary Becker Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics, honoring and extending the work of both icons in the field.

Selected Publications

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Title Sort Ascending Sort Descending Publisher Sort Ascending Sort Descending Co-Authors Sort Ascending Sort Descending Date Sort Ascending Sort Descending
Income from Independent Professional Practice National Bureau of Economic Research, 1945. Simon Kuznets 1945
Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Aug., 1948), pp. 279-304. & L. J. Savage. 1948
A Monetary and Fiscal Framework for Economic Stability American Economic Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Jun., 1948), pp. 245-264. 1948
The Marshallian Demand Curve Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 57, No. 6 (Dec., 1949), pp. 463-495. 1949
Some comments on the Significance of Labor Unions for Economic Policy. New York: Harcourt Brace. 1951. 1951
The Expected-Utility Hypothesis and the Measurability of Utility Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 60, No. 6 (Dec., 1952), pp. 463-474. & L. J. Savage. 1952
Price, Income, and Monetary Changes in Three Wartime Periods American Economic Review, Vol. 42, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Sixty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (May, 1952), pp. 612-625. 1952
Choice, Chance, and the Personal Distribution of Income Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 61, No. 4 (Aug., 1953), pp. 277-290. 1953
Essays in Positive Economics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1953. 1953
Studies in the Quantity Theory of Money. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1956. 1956
A Statistical Illusion in Judging Keynesian Models Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 65, No. 1 (Feb., 1957), pp. 64-75. & Gary Becker. 1957
A Theory of the Consumption Function. National Bureau of Economic Research Num. 63. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1957. 1957
The Supply of Money and Changes in Prices and Output. In Relationship of Prices to Economic Stability and Growth. United State Congress. Joint Economic Committee. 1958. 1958
The Demand for Money: Some Theoretical and Empirical Results American Economic Review, Vol. 49, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Seventy-First Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (May, 1959), pp. 525-527. 1959
A Program for Monetary Stability The Millar Lectures Number Three 1959. New York: Fordham University Press, 1960. 1960
The Lag in Effect of Monetary Policy Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 69, No. 5 (Oct., 1961), pp. 447-466. 1961
Monetary Data and National Income Estimates Economic Develoment and Cultural Change, Vol. 9, No. 3, Essays in the Quantitative Study of Economic Growth, Presented to Simon Kuznets on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday, April 30, 1961, by His Students and Friends (Apr., 1961), pp. 267-286. 1961
Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1962. & Rose Friedman. 1962
Money and Business Cycles Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 45, No. 1, Part 2, Supplement (Feb., 1963), pp. 32-64. & Anna Schwartz. 1963
A Monetary History of the United States. National Bureau of Economic Research. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1963. & Anna Schwartz. 1963
The Relative Stability of Monetary Velocity and the Investment Multiplier in the United States, 1898-1958. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 1963. & David Meiselman. 1963
Inflation: Causes and Consequences. Proquest Info & Learning, 1963. 1963
Reply to Donald Hester Review of Economic Studies, 1964, 46(4), pp. 369. & David Meiselman. 1964
Interest Rates and the Demand for Money Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 9 (Oct., 1966), pp. 71-85. 1966
What Price Guideposts? Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1966. 1966
The Role of Monetary Policy American Economic Review, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Mar., 1968), pp. 1-17. 1968
The Definition of Money: Net Wealth and Neutrality as Criteria Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Feb., 1969), pp. 1-14. & Anna Schwartz. 1969
The Optimum Quantity of Money. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers. 1969. & Michael D. Bordo. 1969
Comment on Tobin Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 84, No. 2 (May, 1970), pp. 318-327. 1970
A Theoretical Framework for Monetary Analysis Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 78, No. 2 (Mar.-Apr., 1970), pp. 193-238. 1970
Monetary Statistics of the United States: Sources, Methods. National Bureau of Economic Research. New York: Columbia University Press. 1970. & Anna Schwartz. 1970
The Counter-Revolution in Monetary Theory: First Wincott Memorial Lecture, Delivered at the Senate House, University of London, 16 September, 1970. London: Wincott Foundation by the Institute of Economic Affairs. 1970. 1970
A Monetary Theory of Nominal Income Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 79, No. 2 (Mar.-Apr., 1971), pp. 323-337. 1971
Social Security: Universal or Selective? American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. 1972. & Wilbur Cohen. 1972
Monetary Correction: A proposal for escalation clauses to reduce the cost of ending inflation. London: Institute of Economic Affairs. 1974. 1974
Comments on Tobin and Buiter. 1976 1976
Interrelations between the United States and the United Kingdom, 1873-1975 Journal of International Money and Finance, Vol. 1, 1982, pp. 3-19. & Anna Schwartz. 1982
Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom: Their relations to income, prices and interest rates, 1876-1975. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1982. & Anna Schwartz. 1982
Monetary Policy: Tactics versus Strategy. Stanford: Hoover Institute Press. 1984. 1984
The Case for Overhauling the Federal Reserve. Challenge, July/August, 1985, pp. 7. 1985
Has Government Any Role in Money? National Bureau of Economic Research. 1987. & Anna Schwartz. 1986
Quantity Theory of Money. New York: Norton & Co. 1988. 1988
Why Government is the Problem Stanford: Hoover Institute. 1993. 1993
The Case for Free Trade Hoover Digest: Research and Opinions on Public Policy, No. 4, 1997. & Rose Friedman. 1997
Inflation and Unemployment The University of Chicago, Illinois, USA 1976