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Joseph Stiglitz

A renowned American economist who helped introduce new concepts to the field of economics, both academically and globally

Who is Joseph Stiglitz?

Joseph Stiglitz (Joseph Eugene Stiglitz) is a renowned American economist. In 2001, Stiglitz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics for his foundational theory of markets with asymmetric information. He received the award together with fellow American economists Michael Spence and George Akerlof.

 

Joseph Stiglitz
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Summary

  • Joseph Stiglitz is a renowned American economist who received the Nobel Prize for Economics for his foundational theory of markets with asymmetric information. 
  • Stiglitz served as an active member of the Council of Economic Advisers for the United States from 1993 to 1997 and chief economist and vice president of the World Bank from 1997 to 2000.
  • He published “Globalization and Its Discontents” in 2002, selling over a million copies globally and being translated to more than thirty (30) languages.

 

Joseph Stiglitz’s Early Life

Joseph Stiglitz was born on February 9, 1943 in Gary, Indiana. He studied at Amherst College (Massachusetts) and completed his studies in 1964. In 1967, Stiglitz obtained his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and became a professor at Yale University in 1970. In 1979, Stiglitz was awarded the John Bates Clark Award. He also taught at various tertiary institutions, including Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and Princeton.

Between 1993 and 1997, Joseph Stiglitz served as an active member of the Council of Economic Advisers for the United States, becoming its vice president in 1995. Stiglitz was also a member of President Bill Clinton’s economic policy team.

Between 1997 and 2000, Stiglitz served as the chief economist and vice president of the World Bank. In 2000, Stiglitz became a professor at Columbia University. Between 2011 and 2014, he served as the president of the International Economic Association.

 

Notable Works and Roles Held by Joseph Stiglitz

In addition to Joseph Stiglitz’s work as a professor, he contributed significantly to work centered around the field of economics and currently serves on various boards.

Stiglitz was recruited by the French president Nicolas Sarkozy to head/chair the Commission on the “Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress” in 2008. In 2009, he was then recruited by the President of the United Nations General Assembly to serve as the chair of the Commission of “Experts on Reform of the International Financial and Monetary System.”

Joseph Stiglitz helped popularize a new field of economics called “The Economics of Information.” The study focused on studying the effects of information asymmetries and how uninformed citizens could potentially improve their positions in markets with asymmetric information.

By studying the insurance market, Stiglitz was able to formulate notable ideologies and concepts like “moral hazard” and “adverse selection.” He further found that insurance companies lacking complete information could mitigate the risk of “asymmetric information” through the screening of individuals and/or customers.

 

Notable Publications

Joseph Stiglitz also published several materials over the last decade, making a significant impact on the economic field of study and global debates. “Globalization and Its Discontents,” published in 2002, sold over a million copies globally and was translated into more than thirty (30) languages. The book was followed by two sequels: “Fair Trade for All” and “Making Globalization Work,” which were published in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

His other publications, “The Roaring Nineties” and “Towards a New Paradigm in Monetary Economics,” published in 2003, highlighted the effects of financial deregulation (among other acts) in the 1990s and identified the potential risks associated with financial interdependence and the misconceptions in current monetary and fiscal policies, respectively.

 

Additional Resources

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  • Josef Ackermann
  • Adverse Selection
  • Milton Friedman
  • Monetary Policy

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