The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Gary S. Becker
Reference work entry


In virtually every known society – including ancient, primitive, developing, and developed societies – families have been a major force in the production and distribution of goods and services. They have been especially important in the production, care, and development of children, in the production of food, in protecting against illness and other hazards, and in guaranteeing the reputation of members. Moreover, parents have frequently displayed a degree of self-sacrifice for children and each other that is testimony to the heroic nature of men and women.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary S. Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.