The Becker Friedman Institute advances inquiry that illuminates our choices, our economy, our society, and our future.
The institute’s conferences, visiting scholars program, research initiatives, and programs for young scholars are designed to inspire, refine, and disseminate research. A collaboration of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Department of Economics, the Law School, and the Harris School of Public Policy, the institute bridges these disciplines to capitalize on shared perspectives. Now located in Saieh Hall for Economics, the institute is an intellectual destination for the world’s best minds, bringing together economists and scholars across disciplines for conversations and collaborations that spark and sharpen new ideas.
Our programs foster research in the distinctive Chicago economics approach, exemplified in the enduring work of our namesakes, Milton Friedman and Gary S. Becker. They shared the belief that economics is a powerful tool for understanding the world. Following that belief, we prepare and support innovative scholars who apply economic analysis to our most challenging social and policy issues.
What we do
- Advance economic research through conferences and workshops and flexible, multiyear initiatives that expand the frontiers of knowledge.
- Cultivate collaboration, with a visiting scholars program and other activities that bridge fields and disciplines to share new perspectives.
- Prepare tomorrow’s innovative economists with a range of programs for young scholars.
- Build on the legacy of Chicago economics, extending the famous UChicago environment of critical discussion and debate that tests and refines ideas.
Why it matters
Many of our choices—whether to go to college or get a job, who to marry, when to buy a house—have a long-term economic impact in our lives and in the economy as a whole. The same is true for firms’ decisions to borrow, save, or invest, hire or outsource, or compete or merge.
Applying economic analysis—particularly work focused on the role of markets, prices, and incentives—illuminates the impact of these individual decisions. The institute supports this kind of analysis, which identifies and addresses gaps in our knowledge of the workings of the economy. It explains the mechanisms behind observed economic trends. It provides impartial, evidence-based analysis of the impact of current and proposed policies.
Now more than ever, we need this kind of evidence and analysis to guide policies that will ensure economic growth and stability.
This institute follows the University's long-standing traditions and policies of non-discrimination in admission, employment, and access to its programs.