All Becker books here
Before there was Freakonomics, there was Gary Becker. Becker believed that rational, cost-benefit economics explained human relationships, sociology, and other fields where economics had not previously trod. Becker explained such topics as discrimination as economic choices, not cultural or emotional ones. And he believed that people made decisions based on rational, economic criteria, not on actual love, hate, fear, greed, ignorance or so on.
The idea was that unregulated economies would produce super rational outcomes and end social problems.
Becker was enormously influential among policy elites.