Viktor Dorokhin1
  • 1 Saint Petersburg State University, 7, 22 Liniya VO, Saint Petersburg, 199026, Russian Federation

Portraits of Legal Scholars: Gary Becker

2014. No. 2. P. 29–35 [issue contents]
Dorokhin Victor - Postgraduate Student, Law Faculty, Saint Petersburg State University. Address: 7, 22 Liniya VO,  Saint Petersburg, 199026, Russian Federation. E-mail: v-dorohin@ya.ru. 

This paper studies the biography and landmarks in the intellectual activity of Garry Becker, the American economist, Nobel prize winner in economics. The article written in the memory of the great economist focuses on the contribution of this American scientist to the contemporary discussions on the balance between economics and legal studies in connection with human behavior. The author stresses that the main achievement of Becker was applying economic theory to study the behavior of the subjects of law and the way public bodies are being regulated including criminal behavior in terms of economics, regulation of labour market, family and human capital. Becker developed and justified the theory showing that many models of irrational behavior such as a crime are the result of a rational choice made in difficult circumstances. On the basis of this suggestion, he argued that a way to decrease criminality is increasing the probability of punishment or strengthening liability for criminals. In the past, this suggestion went against common views of crime as a result of psychiatric disease or social inequality. Becker also studied the issues of family and economic consequences, upbringing of children, the size of families, divorce and other economic behaviours. One of the main line of Becker’s research was human capital. Becker was the first who developed the method in the general theory of distributing employment earnings to work with human capital. He formulated the so-called functions of human capital gain determined by the balance between earnings and human capital. Becker received the Nobel Prize in 1992 "for having extended the domain of microeconomic analysis to a wide range of human behaviour and interaction, including nonmarket behaviour". The author of the article is confident that studying Becker’s ideas is an important task for Russian economists, lawyers and criminologists.
Citation: Dorokhin V. (2014) Portrety uchenykh-yuristov: Geri Bekker [Portraits of Legal Scholars: Gary Becker]. Pravo. Zhurnal Vysshey shkoly ekonomiki, no 2, pp. 29-35 (in Russian)
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