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June Carbone

In: The SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism

Chapter 12: Gary Becker: Neoliberalism's Economic Imperialist

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Gary Becker: Neoliberalism's Economic Imperialist
Gary Becker: Neoliberalism's Economic Imperialist
June Carbone
Introduction

Gary Becker's legacy as a Nobel Laureate in Economics rests on his extension of the rational actor model to the non-market realms of the family, discrimination, human capital, crime and addiction. The strengths and the weaknesses of Becker's analysis involve the shift in focus from the group to the individual, and the assumption that individuals, even in the throes of poverty or addiction, make rational judgements about their own self-interest. Becker used this model to generate provocative predictions that include both the insightful and the spectacularly wrong. The flaws in his predictions indicate the blinders of the neoliberal model. It tends to cloak questions of power, justify the world ...

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