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Academic Capital Flows: U. of Chicago Plans $200-Million Milton Friedman Institute

May 15, 2008

A decade ago, officials in Mongolia reportedly considered building a statue in honor of Milton Friedman, who was one of the 20th century’s most influential proponents of laissez-faire economics.

Today the University of Chicago announced its own monument to Mr. Friedman, who died in 2006 at the age of 94. The university plans to invest $200-million in a research center to be known as the Milton Friedman Institute.

In a proposal completed in January, a faculty committee at Chicago said that the new institute would “ensure that the singular position of Chicago economics over the last century would serve as a foundation for continued leadership in shaping fields of thought as well as economic and social policies throughout the world.”

The institute will be housed in a building now occupied by the Chicago Theological Seminary. The department of economics might also move to the building. The university will pay for a new structure for the seminary, which will remain in the Hyde Park neighborhood.

Mr. Friedman did much of his graduate course work at Chicago, though he finally earned his doctorate from Columbia University. He taught at Chicago from 1946 to 1976 and maintained ties there until his death. —David Glenn

(Photo by the Flickr user Gabriel M. Used under a Creative Commons license.)