Gary Becker, 83, a University of Chicago professor who received the Nobel Prize in economic sciences and is credited with pioneering the approach to economics as the study of human behavior, died Saturday in Chicago from complications after an extended illness.

"I was interested in social problems but felt that economics had the tools by which to handle these long-term interests and social questions," Mr. Becker told the Associated Press when he became a Nobel laureate in 1992.

He was cited for applying economic analysis to a range of human behavior. The economics and sociology professor studied issues such as marriage and divorce, crime and punishment, addiction, and household decisions.

His mentor was economist Milton Friedman. The school honored them in 2011 with the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics, and Mr. Becker was named its chair. - AP