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Joseph E. Stiglitz

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Joseph Stiglitz (born February 9, 1943) is an American economist, author and winner of Nobel Prize for economics (2001). He is one of the most famous contemporary economists and in addition to scholarly work he has published a number of books aimed at a general readership. He is best known for his critical view of globalization and international institutions like the International Monetary Fund while holding the extremely influential positions as Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank.


Early life

Stiglitz was born in Gary, Indiana, to Charlotte and Nathaniel Stiglitz. From 1960 to 1963, he studied at Amherst College. He went to MIT for his fourth year as an undergraduate, where he later pursued graduate work. From 1965 to 1966, he studied at Cambridge University after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship. In subsequent years, he taught at MIT and Yale. Stiglitz currently teaches at the Graduate School of Business and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and is editor of The Economists' Voice journal with J. Bradford DeLong and Aaron Edlin .

In addition to making numerous influential contributions to microeconomics, Stiglitz has played number of policy roles. He served in the Clinton Administration as the chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisors (19951997). At the World Bank, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Economist (19972000), in the time when unprecedented protest against international economic organizations started, most prominently with the Seattle WTO meeting of 1999. Stiglitz was forced out of the World Bank by Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. In July 2000 Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) to help developing countries explore policy alternatives, and enable wider civic participation in economic policymaking.

Stiglitz' most famous research was on screening , a technique used by one economic agent to extract otherwise private information from another. It was for this contribution to the theory of information asymmetries that he shared the Nobel prize with George A. Akerlof and A. Michael Spence.

Along with his technical economic publications, Stiglitz is the author of Whither Socialism , a non-mathematical book providing an introduction to the theories behind economic socialism's failure in Eastern Europe, the role of imperfect information in markets, and misconceptions about how truly "free market" the free market capitalist system is. In 2002, he wrote Globalization and Its Discontents, where he asserts that the International Monetary Fund puts the interest of "its largest shareholder," the United States, above those of the poorer nations it was designed to serve. Stiglitz offers some reasons why globalization has engendered the hostility of protesters, such as those at Seattle and Genoa. In 2003, Stiglitz published The Roaring Nineties, his analysis of the boom and bust of the 1990s.

Personal information

Stiglitz's first two marriages ended in divorce. He was married for the third time on October 29, 2004, to Anya Schiffrin, who works at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.



  • Stiglitz, Joseph (2002). Globalization and Its Discontents W. W. Norton & Company ISBN 0393051242
  • Stiglitz, Joseph (2004). The Roaring Nineties. Why We're Paying the Price for the Greediest Decade in History Penguin ISBN 0141014318

External links

Last updated: 10-13-2005 02:41:43
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