Gary Becker and Theory of Everything

A relatively old but interesting paper by Daniel Matthew Custance Lawson of the University of Notre Dame on economic theory through Gary Becker’s lens.

A well-defined quest is a rarity on its own, but the scope of the quest increases the scale of the drama; a quest to kill a fly in the kitchen has far less appeal than a quest for the Holy Grail. Becker’s quest is remarkable not only for his steady pursuit, but also for the scope of his goal. If economics explains decisions given supply and demand, and if De Gustibus claims that economics should ultimately be able to completely explain demand, then this completed economics should produce a general theory that can explain (and predict!) the totality of human behavior given the resources and technology available. De Gustibus sets forth Becker’s intent to pursue this Holy Grail of social science: a Theory of Everything.

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