George Stigler

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George J. Stigler (1911-1991) was an economist at the University of Chicago who won the Nobel Prize in 1982 for "research on market processes and the causes and effects of public regulation."[1] He was also a founding member of the Mont Pelerin Society, a libertarian economic group in Montana. Stiger, along with his close friend Milton Friedman, was a key leader of the conservative Chicago School of Economics.

He is best known for his Economic Theory of Regulation, which describes the problem of "agency capture." Agency capture occurs when an agency is established to regulate an industry, but the industry uses economic and political influence to dominate and obtain advantage from the decisionmaking of the agency. The industry ends up manipulating the agency for the benefit of itself, and to the detriment of the public and new companies. The FDA is an example of agency capture today.

Stigler also proposed that both demand and supply curves are always inelastic in the long run.

Further reading

  • Friedman, Milton. George Stigler: A Personal Reminiscence, Journal of Political Economy Vol. 101, No. 5 (Oct., 1993), pp. 768-773 JSTOR
  • Friedman, Milton. George J. Stigler, 1911-1991: Biographical Memoir, (National Academy of Sciences: 1998), online

Articles and books by Stigler

  • Stigler, George. "Production and Distribution in the Short Run," Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 47, No. 3 (Jun., 1939), pp. 305-327 in JSTOR
  • Stigler, George. Production and Distribution Theories: 1870-1895. (1941)
  • Stigler, George. "The Division of Labor is Limited by the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 59, No. 3 (Jun., 1951), pp. 185-193 in JSTOR
  • Stigler, George. "Mergers and Preventive Antitrust Policy," University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 104, No. 2 (Nov., 1955), pp. 176-184 in JSTOR
  • Stigler, George. "The Politics of Political Economists," Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 73, No. 4 (Nov., 1959), pp. 522-532 in JSTOR; focus on conservatism
  • Stigler, George. “The Economics of Information,” Journal of Political Economy, June 1961. (JSTOR)
  • Stigler, George. "The Economic Effects of the Antitrust Laws," Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 9, (Oct., 1966), pp. 225-258 in JSTOR
  • Stigler, George. Essays in the history of economics (1965)
  • Stigler, George. The citizen and the State : essays on regulation (1975)
  • Stigler, George. The economist as preacher, and other essays (1982)
  • Stigler, George. "Nobel Lecture: The Process and Progress of Economics," Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 91, No. 4 (Aug., 1983), pp. 529-545 in JSTOR
  • Stigler, George. The Organization of Industry (1983) excerpt and text search
  • Stigler, George. "Economics: The Imperial Science?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 86, No. 3 (Sep., 1984), pp. 301-313 in JSTOR
  • Stigler, George. The essence of Stigler edited by Kurt R. Leube, Thomas Gale Moore. (1986)
  • Stigler, George. Theory of Price (1987), textbook
  • Stigler, George J. ed. Chicago Studies in Political Economy (1988) excerpt and text search
  • Stigler, George Joseph. Memoirs of an Unregulated Economist (1988), autobiography excerpt and text search
  • J. Daniel Hammond and Claire H. Hammond, ed., Making Chicago Price Theory: Friedman-Stigler Correspondence, 1945-1957. Routledge, 2006. 165 pp.


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