21st Century Council

A forum for dialogue on global governance, with a focus on the G-20 as the governing body of globalization. Members include former heads of state, global entrepreneurs and political thinkers.

Council for the Future of Europe

This Council gathers a small group of the region's most eminent political figures to research and debate ways forward for a united Europe.

Think Long Committee for California

Develops comprehensive approaches to repairing California's broken system of governance while evaluating policies and institutions vital for the state's long-term future.

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Joseph E. Stiglitz

Joseph E. Stiglitz was born in Gary, Indiana in 1943. A graduate of Amherst College, he received his PHD from MIT in 1967, became a full professor at Yale in 1970, and in 1979 was awarded the John Bates Clark Award, given biennially by the American Economic Association to the economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the field. He has taught at Princeton, Stanford, MIT, and was the Drummond Professor and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is now University Professor at Columbia University in New York and Chair of Columbia University's Committee on Global Thought. He is also the co-President of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Stiglitz was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1993-95, during the Clinton administration, and served as CEA chairman from 1995-97. He then became Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 1997-2000. In 2008, he was appointed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to chair a Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Economic Progress.  He is also chair of the Commission of Experts of the President of the UN General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System.Stiglitz holds a part-time appointment at the University of Manchester as Chair of the Management Board and Director of Graduate Summer Programs at the Brooks World Poverty Institute. He serves on numerous other boards, including Amherst College's Board of Trustees and Resources for the Future. Stiglitz helped create a new branch of economics, "The Economics of Information," exploring the consequences of information asymmetries and pioneering such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not only of theorists, but of policy analysts. He has made major contributions to macro-economics and monetary theory, to development economics and trade theory, to public and corporate finance, to the theories of industrial organization and rural organization, and to the theories of welfare economics and of income and wealth distribution. In the 1980s, he helped revive interest in the economics of R&D. His work has helped explain the circumstances in which markets do not work well, and how selective government intervention can improve their performance. Recognized around the world as a leading economic educator, he has written textbooks that have been translated into more than a dozen languages. He founded one of the leading economics journals, The Journal of Economic Perspectives. His book Globalization and Its Discontents (W.W. Norton June 2001) has been translated into 35 languages, besides at least two pirated editions, and in the non-pirated editions has sold more than one million copies worldwide. Other recent books include The Roaring Nineties (W.W. Norton), Towards a New Paradigm in Monetary Economics (Cambridge University Press) with Bruce Greenwald, Fair Trade for All (Oxford University Press), with Andrew Charlton, and Making Globalization Work, (WW Norton and Penguin/ Allen Lane, September 2006). His most recent book, The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict, with Linda Bilmes of Harvard University, was published in March 2008 by WW Norton and Penguin/ Allen Lane.  He is currently working on a book entitled, Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy, to be published January 2010 by WW Norton and Penguin/ Allen Lane.

Member Activity
19 September 2012
Interview with Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Stiglitz, a member of the 21st Century Council, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001 and the John Bates Clark medal in 1979. He was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under U.S. President Bill Clinton. A former chief economist at the World Bank, Stiglitz teaches at Columbia University in New York, where he founded the Institute for Policy Dialogue. His latest book is “The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future.”

Q. What is the central thesis of “The Price of Inequality”?

Joseph Stiglitz: My argument in the context of the current debate is that no large economy has ever recovered from recession through austerity. But more than that, the sharp rise in inequality – especially in the U.S., which has the greatest inequality gap in the advanced countries – is holding us back. The lack of aggregate demand that has resulted from this inequality is a key factor hindering a return to growth.

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