Talk:Joseph Stiglitz

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Assignment Related Edit[edit]

I added a quick summary for the book Fair Trade For All as part of a class assignment.

The.munchkin (talk) 00:07, 24 October 2011 (UTC)


It is a good article, with lots of information.

It still needs improvements such as a better formatting and the removal and/or counterbalancing of some localized POV's.

It needs an expansion on Stiglitz main strenghts, a description of his latest books still incomplete and a better technical description of Stiglitz contributions to "Economic Science" as such is necessary. Perhaps some less space should be devoted to "intrigues" inside the World Bank; Stiglitz was not laureated with the Nobel Prize for that. 19:22, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Few small issues in the information asymmetry section. I Tried making corrections myself but they were undone. "Traditional neoclassical economics literature assumes that markets are always efficient except for some limited and well defined market failures." Neoclassical theory has nothing to say about the extent of market failure - it's an empirical issue. And I don't know of any neoclassical economists who thinks, empirically, that most markets are efficient. In fact I think almost all neoclassical economists would agree with the proposition in the following sentence that "it is only under exceptional circumstances that markets are efficient". A reliable source should be provided for the initial claim, otherwise it should be removed. This is a straw man argument. The following sentence is even worse - without being rude, I hope it wasn't written by a professional economist. "In other words, there almost always exists schemes of government intervention which can induce Pareto superior outcomes, thus making everyone better off." If this is retained, it should be made clear that this is only true in the absence of government failure - that is, if governments have the necessary information and incentives to correct the market failure without any cost. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:30, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

It's very simple. The paragraph currently reflects the source cited. If you want to change it, kindly bring another reliable source describing Stiglitz's contributions. LK (talk) 10:17, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

I commended out the "Honorable" title part - it looks kind of silly - he has more than enough credentials to be honorable without that title. Laura Tyson or Janet Yellen who occupied the same office do not have that title or Chief Justice John Roberts or President Barak Obama. One can find references for them being designated as Honorable. Every judge is also honorable - official court proceedings start with the announcement "Honorable judge so and so presiding". Generally we do not put that in an encyclopedia. --Kijacob (talk) 17:09, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Heard elsewhere[edit]

Stiglitz's article. It seemed fine though it could use more info on his theoretical contributions (he also did stuff on efficiency wages) and some things could be phrased better. Will try to do something. As an aside, usually he isn't considered a Post-Keynesian economist but a New-Keynesian economist (I know, all these labels are annoying). I guess he did some post-Keynesian type work back in the 60's but he's mostly considered to be in the mainstream these days.

How Did Stiglitz Deal With the Draft?[edit]

Stiglitz was doing graduate work during the height of the Vietnam War. Plenty of law students and Ph.D. candidates were conscripted in those years. Although the intellect of Stiglitz is so pronounced that he doubtless deserved a deferment, no real biography is complete without delving into the issue of conscription during the Vietnam War. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:25, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Just a small issue[edit]

In the introduction it states that Stiglitz is a critic of globalization. This is slightly misleading as he has often stated that globalization can be a force for good, but it highly critical of the management/manipulation of globalization by developed nations and international organizations, such as the IMF, World Bank, WTO, etc. Perhaps I am being picky, but I believe this comment could make Stiglitz seem like an 'anti-globalizationist'. What do ye think? daithi81 'Spontaneous order is the result of human action but not of human design' (talk) 20:35, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

@'Spontaneous order is the result of human action but not of human design' If the article gives this impression somewhere, it needs to be fixed.Lbertolotti (talk) 21:42, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Formatting needs to be improved[edit]

Formatting needs to be improved.

Done ! 19:25, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Fired or quit from World Bank[edit]

Find out whether he was fired or quit from the World Bank, and whether this was in 1999 or 2000. Susan Mason

Done - resigned Nov 24, 1999, source The New York Times 18:38, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
"Mess" on Stiglitz's resignation/firing was completely cleared-up and is explained now, with page specific references. 19:28, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't see that it's cleared up at all. It's still contradictory and confusing, and except for Endnote 21, the citations are useless. Just before the NYT article about Stiglitz's resignation, the Wiki entry says he left the World Bank in January 2000, though the NYT article cited quotes him as saying he would leave at the end of 1999. Right after the Times quote is one from Stiglitz's New Republic article that the Wiki entry says was published in April 2000, "a week before the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF and provoked a strong response." The response was that Summers demanded Stiglitz be fired, yet there is no citation for that - merely "citation needed". That New Republic article is not sourced - the only link is to the Wiki entry for the magazine. Endnote 22, which is the only source mentioned for that paragraph, does not take you to the page claimed in the title of the end note. So the question remains: Did Stiglitz leave in November 1999, December 1999, January 2000, or in April 2000? Wlegro (talk) 01:38, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Bloggers as external links?[edit]

Someone's added their rant about the Iraq war in the 'external links' section. That is far from an official source of information for anything, and has extremely questionable relevance to the rest of the article. Random guy's disagreement with an economist shouldn't be placed near links to more official sources of information - we all have opinions but that isn't the place to put them.

Totally agree with the above. I took it out, because it was a link to a random source with an opinion. If the source was authoritative, that would be another thing. Apparently the blogger is Michael Szanto, who happens to be a private investment banker. Those credentials are not substantive enough to be taken seriously.

Questionable neutrality in "Leaving the World Bank" section[edit]

I'll admit that I have little familiarity with the events records, but the following section does not seem NPOV:

"Wolfensohn had privately empathised with Stiglitz's views, yet this time he had gone too far. Wolfensohn, worried for his second term - which Summers had threatened to veto - and with it, his Nobel Peace prize, had little other option left."

For the first sentence, a citation is needed, and "this time he had gone too far" seems a bit dramatic. As someone who knows little about the situation, the comment about the Nobel Peace prize seems cryptic, as no one involved has won one, as far as I can tell. Also, the remark that Wolfensohn "had little other option left" is certainly editorial.

Trying to fix the mess: 1st, the reference was misquoted, it says, clearly, on page 6 that Stiglitz resigned from the World Bank:
"This essay describes two recent cases where a senior person in the Bank said things contrary to what the US Treasury wanted to hear the Bank saying, and ended up leaving the Bank in a blaze of publicity. The first case concerns the resignation of Joseph Stiglitz, chief economist from 1996 to 1999, and then his firing as special advisor to the president (...)".
He was latter fired from being "special advisor to the president", a clearly political post. 18:55, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

"Critique of Whither Socialism"[edit]

The following "critique", full of subjective value statements, requires references otherwise it constitutes original research and WP is not a soapbox.

Wikipedia might not be a soap box, but certainly is full of bad manners, ignorancy and pretention. You did not have to erase a carefully done work just because you have no idea where it came from; asking politely for a reference would have been much more appropriate. ALL critique reviews on books have opinions, by definition, or no critique they would be. The text you arrogantly removed, follows a neutral description of the book, and is clearly marked as a "critique" : 1. "A critical review or commentary, especially one dealing with works of art or literature. 2. A critical discussion of a specified topic." 20:15, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Excuse me for my "ignorancy" and "pretension" but I was following customary wikipedia rules by removing a disputed paragraph to talk for discussion. Moreover, not sourcing your contribution violates copyright laws. It is true that ALL critiques have opinions but as far as wikipedia is concerned they should not be YOUR opinions or commentaries but rather those of qualified authorities on the subject. Afterall, what makes your opinions more relevant for inclusion in the article than mine or Joe Blows'? So now at least we know that the source of your opinions - which were often cut and pasted without even the inclusion of "quotation marks" is a writer from The Cato Institute- certainly a relevant fact for informed readers to take into account.
The full Prychitko's famous review article on Stiglitz book is online readable, for anyone to read, disagree or criticize. or even learn something. If in your personal opinion David L. Prychitko is a "writer from The Cato Institute", what else can be discussed  ? 21:09, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Peter J. Boettke's critique (Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Mar., 1996), pp. 189-191) is very, very similar to Prychitko's, and has been published in a mainstream journal; the reason I chose to comment Prychitko's is because its text is freely readable online in full, by any Wikipedia reader, while to read the Boettke's article more "chicly" in the Journal of Economic Literature one will have to pay a fee of $10.00 USD.
Whither Socialism? by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Author(s) of Review: Peter J. Boettke, Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Mar., 1996), pp. 189-191 22:21, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

"Chicly????" (rolls eyes once again). Anyway what I objected to was your exaggerated generalization - "Whither Socialism ? has been subject to various critiques - all roughly in the same lines of reasoning - such as the one by Peter J. Boettke." Have you read all of the critiques of Whither Socialism? Do you realize that there are critiques of it from Marxist, institutionalist, Austrian, post-keynesian and neoclassical perspectives among others? They can hardly be said to be all the same.BernardL 22:52, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

I do not object to critiques, only good critiques can improve an article. What I do object is to censorhip. BTW, I agree with "generalization" (but not exagerated...). When I wrote that sentence I was thinking of the three critiques I read (which are now referred on the article). I believe, of course, those are the most important ones. My point got poorly phrased, thank you for pointing this out 02:45, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Whither Socialism hopes to go beyond the confines of technical economic theory, as its title implies. Stiglitz makes efforts to join the dialogue in political economy, and wonders "whether the insights of modern economic theory and the utopian ideals of the nineteenth century can be brought closer together?" (p. 277). It is precisely this comment that invites criticism, not so much because he wants to save some socialist ideals (incredibly, however, through a "people's capitalism" [p. 265]), but rather because of his unexamined presuppositions regarding how to do so. Stiglitz insists that we should not ask whether or not the state has a role to play in the economy, but rather how large a role, and in what specific tasks (p. 231). For Stiglitz, the problem is posed correctly only when we seek an "appropriate balance between markets and government" (p. 267), but he fails to indicate what an "appropriate balance" would be. Stiglitz formally demonstrates the potential efficiency-enhancing properties of the state based on the Greenwald-Stiglitz theorems (establishing the - constrained - Pareto inefficiency of market economies with imperfect information and incomplete markets), and believes that solutions to worldly problems can become illuminated by this new set of mathematical theorems, to replace the old theorems of Arrow-Debreu and Lange-Lerner (pp. 4-6, 231-32).

Stiglitz mentions that economics must be recast as something more than a constrained maximization problem, and proposes his own alternative--a mathematical theorem that encompasses more complex, nonlinear vectors.

Stiglitz's main insight is generally correct --that the state cannot be ruled out or that it should be ruled in --, but leaves open the grand constitutional questions: How will the coercive institutions of the state be constrained? What is the relation between the state and civil society? His book fails on these political aspects because it has not addressed the broader constitutional concerns that James McGill Buchanan Jr. [1] (1975) and other economists have raised.````

Why does the article mention three critics, but only feature one critique? Why not have a concise paragraph regarding each of the major criticisms? It seems biased to me to have the only critique come from a devout freetrader perspective. Also, lumping in the names of other critics without establishing where they stand implies some sort of consensus among the critics, which I sincerely doubt is the case. 09:32, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Why interrupt the flow of the book list with this critique? Perhaps it would be more fitting in a separate page which discusses the book itself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:38, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

"Iniquities" ? Or "inequities?"[edit]

How about a little less P.O.V. here? There is a tone of advocacy in this article that undermines its credibility. This was surely not the design of the article's author(s); come on, he won the Nobel, so perhaps his policies need no more validation here, just explanation. At first reading, I thought that "iniquities" was a malapropism. After reading the whole article, however, I think that maybe "iniquities" really is the word that this author inteneded to use.

This quote is intriguing: "The U.S. Treasury had put enormous pressure on the World Bank to silence his criticisms of the policies which they and the IMF had pushed." How was the pressure applied? Why was it enormous? Where did the author get this information? Citations, please?

I would make contributions and edits to this article but I don't know anything about Dr. Stiglitz or economics. . . . that's why I visited this article in the first place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:51, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

What is conservative?[edit]

"The second part examines the central issues of macroeconomics, presenting an analysis of economic models and policy perspectives on stabilization from conservative, Keynesian, and heterodox perspectives. The third part presents a similar analysis for capital market liberalization."

As far as I know there is no "conservative" school of economics. The link goes to neo-classical economics. If it is okay with the rest of you I'll just change conservative to neo-classical. --Jayson Virissimo (talk) 18:13, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Austrian economics. --Ericg33 (talk) 21:23, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

"Stiglitz's critics"[edit]

Since there is only one critic listed in the section, does anyone mind if I change the section title to "criticism"? 1337wesm (talk) 15:06, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Criticism should include the theory that government stimulus never works. Proven under FDR's stimulus package that failed.
You didn't study logic, did you? p1: every instance of government stimulus never works p2: a specific instance didn't work. You can't infer p1 from p2, you can only infer: it's not true that every instance of government stimulus always works. This from a pure formal perspective, we could also argue about quantifying "works". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Adverse Selection[edit]

In the article, it states "Some of the ideas that Stiglitz had helped formulate, like adverse selection and moral hazard, are now part of the every day language of the policy debate in health care."

Nonsense. Stiglitz did nothing to 'formulate' the concept of adverse selection. That concept has been factored into insurance underwriting and premium calculation since before he was born. It is a fundamental idea in insurance, and while he certainly utilized it, he most certainly did NOT help fomulate it. And while it dovetails well with his work on information asymmetries, it was well-explored before he ever commented on it. For example, see Akerlof, G. A. (1970). The market for" lemons": Quality uncertainty and the market mechanism. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 84(3), 488-500. which was published while he was still a student. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:17, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Left leaning economist[edit]

There are many types of economists and Prof.Liblitz is left leaning and supports government intervention in economics and probably high taxes. That isn't Adam Smith economics. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ericg33 (talkcontribs) 21:24, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Your first statement might be true, but your comment about Adam Smith is incorrect please see Smith's "The Theory of Moral Sentiments", Smith isn't the ultra-liberal he is made out to be (Liberal here is meant in the English sense of the word and not the American sense for social progressive) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:40, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

"The Three Trillion Dollar War"[edit]

Is there a reason that the book The Three Trillion Dollar War by Stiglitz and Harvard professor Linda Bilmes is not mentioned in this article? The book examines the full cost of the Iraq War, including many hidden costs, and discusses the extent to which these costs will be imposed for many years to come, paying special attention to the enormous expenditures that will be required to care for very large numbers of wounded veterans. MisterJayEm (talk) 16:27, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

It is mentioned - it's listed under "Books". Korny O'Near (talk) 20:53, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Biography MIT[edit]

The sentence in question is: "The particular style of MIT economics suited him well - simple and concrete models, directed at answering important and relevant questions." This is a direct copy of the source. "The particular style of MIT economics suited me well - simple and concrete models, directed at answering important and relevant questions." He himself called MIT simple and concrete and Wikipedia is not in the position to decide whether it is. Yet I don't know to what to change it. Should the whole sentence be removed? Would be great if someone could look into it. Kulukimaki (talk) 17:45, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Altered quote still not right[edit]

The words "Finally, if" were added on 4 July 2010 to the quote "Finally, if Stiglitz's main insight is generally correct– that the state cannot be ruled out or that it should be ruled in– but leaves open the grand constitutional questions:...." As it stands the quote cannot possibly be right—it's not even grammatical. Could someone please check the exact quote and correct this? Duoduoduo (talk) 23:55, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Fannie Mae Paper[edit]

Should the following be included in this article? "In 2002 Stiglitz co-authored a paper entitled Implications of the New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Risk-Based Capital Standard with Peter Orszag in which they concluded 'on the basis of historical experience, the risk to the government from a potential default on GSE debt is effectively zero.' The cost of bailing out Fannie and Freddie has surpassed $100 Billion." See Systemic Risk and Fannie Mae: The education of Joe Stiglitz and Peter Orszag, The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 1, 2009. Some one claims this is defamation and has repeatedly removed it from the article. My view is that the statement is noteworthy, true, well-cited, and should be included on grounds of presenting a balanced account. What do others think?-- (talk) 16:30, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

The issues with including this are
firstly that the implied cricitism (we all know that there was a bailout) does not consider the assumptions in Stiglitz paper (which included second, assume that the risk-based capital standard is enforced effectively by Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), which regulates the GSEs;)Relevantly the risk based capital standard was changed in 2004 by HUD so that whereas in 2003 the 2 GSE's together purchased $81 billion of sub prime mortgages, in 2004 they purchased 173 billion (or 44% of the market) [2] so that the assumption no longer held good.
secondly that the criticisms in the commentary on the WSJ article that Stirglitz (And all other economists) ignore irrational behaviour (herd instinct and the like ) and that Stirglitz in his paper only used statistics from 1943 onwards need to be explained and developed.
Otherwise the comment is unbalanced, but to balance it properly would expand the section out of proportion I propose to delete it if there is no response to this by 16th January 2012 (Backnumber1662 (talk) 02:58, 4 January 2012 (UTC))

Criticism[edit] (talk) 17:48, 1 March 2011 (UTC)i think this article needs a new section- one that summarizes the criticism made about Stiglitz. it should mention, for example:

-Kenneth Rogoff's open letter to Stiglitz on his book globalization and its discontents. Rogoff's letter says among other things that the policies Stiglitz advocates would do more harm than good to developing countries. -Guy Sorman's article on stiglitz, that accuses him of oversimplifying economics and being biased against markets -some economists argue that the efficiency criteria used by stiglitz (as well as other economists like samuelson) are not suitable for evaluating markets, since markets are human institutions, and therefore imperfect. these economists make emphasis on alternatives, and also on robustnes -his lack of emphasis on government failure -lack of empirical work on adverse selection

some links guy sorman

ken rogoff

ronald coase on market failure (it's on samuelson but it can apply to stiglitz)

alternatives to the market failure approach (talk) 17:48, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Feel free to add it yourself! Just remember to add citations, and only include stuff that's directly about Stiglitz and his writings - not, say, people who happen to have the same beliefs as Stiglitz. Korny O'Near (talk) 01:02, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Some interesting facts I found on the book, Fifty major economists[edit]

Stiglitz was born and grew up in Gary, Indiana, a mid-western industrial city. His mother came from a long line of New Deal Democrats and worshipped Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His father was a Jeffersonian Democrat, who possessed a deep sense of moral responsibility. Stiglitz (2001) claims his father always made Social Security contributions for all household help, and that he followed his father’s example when he grew up. For this reason, unlike other Clinton cabinet appointees in 1993, Stiglitz was easily confirmed by the US Senate.

After graduating from high school, Stiglitz went to Amherst College. He majored in physics until the spring of his junior year, when he switched to economics because it let him apply his mathematical interests and abilities to social problems. His economics professors at Amherst told him that if he was serious about economics he would need a doctorate, and that his senior year at Amherst would not be much different from his first year in graduate school. They also helped him get into the MIT PhD program, and arranged for the necessary financial assistance. At MIT he studied with some of the top economists of the time – Paul Samuelson, Franco Modigliani, and Robert Solow – all prominent Keynesians and all future Nobel Laureates. After graduating, Stiglitz received a Fulbright Fellowship to study at Cambridge Uni-versity for a year. There he worked with a number of the Post Keynesian followers of Keynes. Joan Robinson was originally his tutor, but they did not get along well and so Stiglitz had to find a new tutor. Robinson ‘‘wasn’t used to the kind of questioning stance of a brash American student’’ (Stiglitz 2001).

Following his year at Cambridge, Stiglitz returned to MIT to teach; and at the young age of 26 he became a full professor. The position was offered only on the condition that he sleep in an apartment rather than in his office, and that he always wear shoes around the office (Chait 1999). This reputation for eccentricity has grown, rather than diminished, over the years. Rosser (2003, p. 7) reports that Stiglitz once showed up at a Clinton cabinet meeting with his tie outside his shirt collar.

Reference: Chait, Jonathan, ‘‘Shoeless Joe Stiglitz,’’ The American Prospect, 45 (July– August 1999) Rosser, J. Barkley, Jr., ‘‘A Nobel Prize for Asymmetric Information: The Economic Contributions of George Akerlof, Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz,’’ Review of Political Economy, 15 (January 2003), pp. 3–21

The whole thing is taken from: Pressman, Steven (2006) FIFTY MAJOR ECONOMISTS, second Edition. Routledge --BiplavPradhan (talk) 17:02, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Honorary Degrees and Professorships[edit]

According to the second paragraph, "Stiglitz is an honorary doctor of Durham Business School,[1] an honorary doctor at the Charles University, an honorary professor at Tsinghua University School of Public Policy and Management...." But according to his CV [1], Stiglitz has over 40 honorary doctorates and at least eight honorary professorships, as well as an honorary deanship. I see no reason to single out these three. Does anyone else? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:39, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ BUCHANAN, James M. Public Finance and Public Choice, National Tax Journal,1975.
  2. ^