George Joseph Stigler was a U.S. economist. He won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1982, and was a key leader of the Chicago School of Economics, along with his close friend Milton Friedman.
While at Chicago, he was greatly influenced by Frank Knight, his dissertation supervisor. Friedman, a friend for over sixty years, comments upon it as remarkable since only three or four students ever managed to complete their PhD dissertation under Knight in his 28 years at Chicago. Jacob Viner and Henry Simons also influenced him and, among his students, W. Allen Wallis and Milton Friedman.
Stigler is best known for developing the Economic Theory of Regulation, also known as capture, which says that interest groups and other political participants will use the regulatory and coercive powers of government to shape laws and regulations in a way that is beneficial to them. This theory is a component of the public choice field of economics. He also carried out extensive research in the history of economic thought.
Stigler's most important contribution to economics was disseminated in his landmark article titled "The Economics of Information". According to Friedman, Stigler "essentially created a new area of study for economists." In this article, Stigler stressed the importance of information by writing, "One should hardly have to tell academicians that information is a valuable resource: knowledge is power. And yet it occupies a slum dwelling in the town of economics."