Friedman, Milton

Friedman, Milton

Friedman, Milton, 1912-2006, American economist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Columbia, 1946. Friedman was influential in helping to revive the monetarist school of economic thought (see monetarism). He was a staff member at the National Bureau of Economic Research (1937-46, 1948-81) and an economics professor at the Univ. of Chicago (1946-82). Much of Friedman's early work is notable for its arguments against government economic controls. His writings dismissed Keynesian theories on consumption, price theory, inflation, distribution, and the money supply (see Keynes, John Maynard). His most famous empirical work is A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960, coauthored with Anna J. Schwartz (1963). The book charts the relationship between general price levels and economic cycles and the government's manipulation of the money supply. Friedman also predicted that the spending associated with government programs would interact with the "natural rate of unemployment" to result in the stagflation of the 1970s. Friedman was a prolific author; his other works included Capitalism and Freedom (1964, rev. ed. 1981), Politics and Tyranny (1985), and Monetarist Economics (1991). With his wife, Rose (1910?-2009), a Univ. of Chicago-educated free-market economist, he wrote Free to Choose (1981), The Tyranny of the Status Quo (1984), and the dual memoir Two Lucky People (1998). In 1976 he won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and he was an adviser to the Reagan administration in the 1980s. He also was a columnist for Newsweek (1966-84) and a frequent television commentator.

See biography by A. Hirsch and N. De Marchi (1990).

(born July 31, 1912, Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S.—died Nov. 16, 2006, San Francisco, Calif.) U.S. economist. Friedman studied at Rutgers and Columbia before joining the faculty of the University of Chicago in 1946. There he became the leading U.S. advocate of monetarism. He oversaw the economic transition in Chile after the overthrow of Salvador Allende. In the 1980s his ideas were taken up by Pres. Ronald Reagan and Britain's Margaret Thatcher. His many books include A Theory of the Consumption Function (1957) and Capitalism and Freedom (1962), both with his wife, Rose Friedman, and A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960 (1963) and Monetary Trends of the United States and the United Kingdom (1981), with economist Anna Schwartz. He received the Nobel Prize in 1976.

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Friedman, Friedmann, and Freedman are common surnames.

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