Milton Friedman

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Friedman, Milton

(frēd`mən), 1912–2006, American economist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Columbia, 1946. Friedman was influential in helping to revive the monetarist school of economic thought (see monetarismmonetarism,
economic theory that monetary policy, or control of the money supply, is the primary if not sole determinant of a nation's economy. Monetarists believe that management of the money supply to produce credit ease or restraint is the chief factor influencing inflation
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). He was a staff member at the National Bureau of Economic Research (1937–46, 1948–81) and an economics professor at the Univ. of Chicago (1946–82). Much of Friedman's early work is notable for its arguments against government economic controls. His writings dismissed Keynesian theories on consumption, price theory, inflation, distribution, and the money supply (see Keynes, John MaynardKeynes, John Maynard, Baron Keynes of Tilton
, 1883–1946, English economist and monetary expert, studied at Eton and Cambridge. Early Career and Critique of Versailles
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). His most famous empirical work is A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960, coauthored with Anna J. SchwartzSchwartz, Anna Jacobson,
1915–2012, American research economist and financial historian, b. the Bronx, N.Y., grad. Barnard (B.A. 1934), Columbia (M.A. 1935, Ph.D. 1964).
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 (1963). The book charts the relationship between general price levels and economic cycles and the government's manipulation of the money supply. Friedman also predicted that the spending associated with government programs would interact with the "natural rate of unemployment" to result in the stagflationstagflation,
in economics, a word coined in the 1970s to describe a combination of a stagnant economy and severe inflation. Previously, these two conditions had not existed at the same time because lowered demand, brought about by a recession (see depression), usually produced
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 of the 1970s. Friedman was a prolific author; his other works included Capitalism and Freedom (1964, rev. ed. 1981), Politics and Tyranny (1985), and Monetarist Economics (1991). With his wife, Rose (1910?–2009), a Univ. of Chicago–educated free-market economist, he wrote Free to Choose (1981), The Tyranny of the Status Quo (1984), and the dual memoir Two Lucky People (1998). In 1976 he won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He was an adviser to the Reagan administration in the 1980s, and also was a columnist for Newsweek (1966–84) and a frequent television commentator.


See biography by A. Hirsch and N. De Marchi (1990).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Friedman, Milton


Born July 31, 1912, in Brooklyn, N. Y. American economist. Representative of the Chicago school of bourgeois political economy.

Friedman graduated from Rutgers University in 1932 and received a doctorate from Columbia University in 1946. He has also received several honorary doctor of laws degrees. Since 1948 he has been a full professor of economics at the University of Chicago. Friedman served as an economics adviser to President R. Nixon from 1971 to 1974.

Friedman is the leader of the monetarist trend in bourgeois political economy, and his major work has been concerned with the theory and practice of monetary circulation. He has propounded a monetary theory of national income and a new variant of the quantity theory of money. Friedman’s concept, which reflects the interests of the most conservative circles of the monopolistic bourgeoisie, is characterized by an overexaggeration of the role of money, which exerts, in his opinion, a determining influence on the level of economic activity. As an opponent of Keynesian-ism, Friedman considers that free enterprise and the spontaneous mechanism of the capitalist market can ensure the normal course of reproduction without extensive interference by the state in the economy. The state’s function, according to Friedman, should be limited to regulating the amount of money in circulation. Friedman won a Nobel Prize in 1976.


Essays in Positive Economics. Chicago, 1953.
Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago, 1962.
Dollars and Deficits. New York, 1968.
The Counter-Revolution in Monetary Theory. London, 1970.
Money and Economic Development. New York, 1973.


Usoskin, V. M. Teorii deneg. Moscow, 1976. Chapter 3.
Seligman, B. Osnovnye techeniia sovremennoi ekonomicheskoi mysli. Moscow, 1968. Chapter 7.
Milton Friedman’s Monetary Framework: A Debate With His Critics. Edited by R. J. Gordon. Chicago-London, 1974.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Friedman, Milton

(1912–  ) economist; born in New York City. He is one of the most publicly familiar U.S. economists through his economics column in Newsweek and his television series "Free to Choose." His intellectual achievements are highly esteemed, especially his analysis of inflation and the role of monetary policy, his permanent income theory of consumption, and the concept of a "natural rate of unemployment." He helped form "the Chicago School" of economic thought during his years at the University of Chicago (1948–79) and also served as an adviser to presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, President Richard Nixon, and the Reagan administration. He received the Nobel Prize in economics (1976).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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In 1976 Milton Friedman was awarded the Nobel prize in economics.
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