Economic Approach To Human Behavior

735 Words3 Pages
In 1976, Gary S. Becker wrote a book of essays that explained his attempts to apply an economic approach to different forms of human behaviors. At the time, Gary S. Becker was an economics professor at the University of Chicago and a Research Policy Adviser to the Center for Economic Analysis of Human Behavior and Social Institutions of the National Bureau of Economic Research. In 1992, Becker was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Science for his stellar work in economics. Before writing, The Economic Approach to Human Behavior, Becker published two other books on economics. When Becker first began his research on human behavior, many people rejected his studies because very little research was done on these topics before. There was great…show more content…
Economics can be defined as “the study of (1) the allocation of material goods to satisfy material wants, (2) the market sector, and (3) the allocation of scarce means to satisfy competing ends” (Becker, 1976, p. 3). However, he explains how none of these definitions clearly explain what the economic approach is. The economic approach is distinctive because it integrates multiple disciplines to a wide variety of human behavior. For example, an economic approach can integrate the disciplines of economics, sociology, psychology, etc. Some of the main issues with the use of the economic approach to explain human behavior is there are many unknown or immeasurable events that could impact human behavior. Also, gathering all the information that impacts a decision is fairly impossible due to the large costs to generate that information. It is also very difficult to calculate irrational and volatile behavior. However, Becker and others believe his work has greatly helped with the understanding of human behavior and give good insight into…show more content…
Again, Becker reasons that everything people do, they are acting rationally because they chose that action or the alternative. Every choice is the weighing of two or more options. The factors that determine fertility are income, knowledge, child costs, tastes, and uncertainty. One of the main determinants of the number of child people have is cost, which can be easily computed. For example, if the net costs are positive, it is assumed utility will be received from them. If the net costs are negative, it is assumed enough utility will not be provided by them. Another part that Becker had consider is that children cannot be bought in the market place. Therefore, the amount of fertility not only depends on the demand for children, but also on the ability of a family to produce children. For example, some families may demand more children than they can produce, while other families may produce more children than they desire. Becker’s studies of fertility also showed different results depending on if he held knowledge of contraceptives constant or not. Again, this is just a brief summary of some of Becker’s superior research on

More about Economic Approach To Human Behavior

Open Document