Joy Jan on Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph StiglitzJoseph Eugene Stiglitz, born February 9, 1943 is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001 and the John Bates Clark Medal in 1979. He worked at the World Bak as a senior vice president and chief economist and is a former member and chairman of the US president’s Council of Economic Advisers during Clinton’s administration. He is known for his critical view on the management of globalization, free-market economists and the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

  • He became deeply involved in environmental issues, which included serving on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; he helped in drafting a new law for toxic wastes (which was never passed).
  • Stiglitz writes about America’s economically divided society, his recent book, “The Price of Inequality”, argues that what is holding the country back is the division in the society.
  • Stiglitz argues that economics has to come to terms with wealth and income inequality


Stiglitz has over 40 honorary doctorates and at least eight honorary professorships, as well as an honorary deanship.

  • He is interested in: income distribution, asset risk management, corporate governance, and international trade
  • Stiglitz argues that Information Economics represents a fundamental change in the prevailing paradigm within economics. “Problems of information are central to understanding not only market economics but also political economy”
  • Stiglitz also did research on efficiency wages, and helped create what is known as the “Shapiro-Stiglitz model” to explain why there is unemployment even in equilibrium.

Shapiro-Stiglitz model of efficiency wages

Full employment cannot be achieved because people will not work if they are not threatened with the possibility of unemployment. Because of this, the curve for the no-shirking condition goes to infinity.

Sources: Not cited

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This profile was complied by Ms. Joy Jan (Nigeria) and briefly presented to the group as part of the Notable Figures series: outstanding individuals who through their contributions and character have and are shaping our understanding of principal issues and ideas underlying the challenges of sustainable development, economy and democracy.  

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Submittal in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the IMBA Seminar on Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy of the Institut Supérieur de Gestion, Paris, March 2015.

In accordance with the French law “Informatique et Libertés” of the 6th of January 1978 amended in 2004, students have a right to access and rectify their personal information collected on this website (see the Legal Terms).


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