The first to provide a neoclassical analysis of discrimination in labour markets. Among the first to develop the implications of human capital theory. After analysing the allocation of time of economic agents, generalised the argument into the so-called ‘new economics of the family’, providing a standard explanation of such phenomena as marriage, divorce, the decision to have children, the decision to educate children, etc.
Gary Becker: My work on human capital got into issues of why different children have different opportunities. Some go on to college, some don't. Some drop out very early, some continue on, some are successful, some aren't. It seemed pretty clear to everybody who's thought about the problem, that it's something in the family that makes a difference. So I began to think about it more. I've taken it as given that these children are making these decisions, but I really want to trace it back some steps deeper, into what family they're in, and family choices.
Gary Becker: Crime is a worldwide issue now, that's one thing.