About The Center

About the Center

Understanding the relationship between the private sector economy and government’s role in a free market society is important since there are few areas in our lives where neither economics nor the state intrudes. Thus, the George J. Stigler Center seeks to further that understanding and make a unique contribution to the field through the application of “Chicago-style” analysis to issues confronting economic policy makers at all levels of government. That analysis is marked by an effort to verify theoretical predictions of behavior through a careful analysis of data and evidence.

Known worldwide, the “Chicago School” of Economics views theory not as an end but as a tool to assist in understanding the real world. It also is noted for a deep appreciation of the ability of private markets to allocate scarce resources efficiently.

To carry out its mission, the Stigler Center supports research by faculty at the University of Chicago and visiting scholars from other academic institutions. The Center publishes a Working Paper series, and promotes the dissemination of this research to a wider audience via conferences and lectures. Examples of research conducted by the Center include:

  • how a market mechanism would increase organ transplants
  • the inefficiencies in the Japanese banking system
  • whether the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should further streamline the drug approval process
  • the effect of suicide bombings on the willingness of individuals to ride mass transit


George Stigler founded the Center for the Study of the Economy and the State at the University of Chicago in 1977. From its inception, the Center has been a joint enterprise of economists and legal scholars at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Department of Economics, and the Law School. The Center was renamed in George Stigler’s memory after his death in 1991.