Donald (now Deirdre) McCloskey first and foremost, who had such a tremendously unique and down to-earth style of applying price theory to all human behavior, and sometimes to nonhuman behavior, with these beautiful little logical stories, where a few lines of reasoning led you to an amazingly surprising conclusion. ...he was extraordinarily encouraging and really went out of his way to inspire me and to help me along. So that’s number one.
I also got a lot of encouragement from Gary Becker. I got a lot of encouragement from George Stigler .... he had been very encouraging, and prodded me along into thinking more and more about economics [from his training as a mathematician].
Bob Lucas was a huge inspiration. I always thought that Lucas was single-mindedly committed to following the truth wherever it led him. Whenever I spoke to him, whenever I saw him talk, I had the feeling that this was the most thoroughly honest man I had ever encountered. He just wanted to know what was true. He had no agenda. And, of course, he had this incredibly powerful mind and this incrediblypowerful way of thinking about macroeconomics, which I found absolutely inspiring and brilliant and made me want to emulate him. And on a personal level, he, too, was exceptionally kind to me.They all stand on the shoulders of giants.