Joseph E. Stiglitz


Joseph E. Stiglitz

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Joseph E. Stiglitz
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2001

Born: 9 February 1943, Gary, IN, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Prize motivation: “for their analyses of markets with asymmetric information”

Prize share: 1/3


Joseph Stiglitz was born in Gary, Indiana. He went to Amherst college, which were formative years for Stiglitz. He majored in economics, thinking it was an opportunity to apply his interests and abilities in mathematics to important social problems. He went on to MIT in the 1960s. He taught at several universities before accepting a position for the Clinton administration 1993-97. He was the chief economist of the World Bank 1997-2000.


Joseph Stigliltz’s research concentrated on what could be done by ill-informed individuals and operators to improve their position in a market with asymmetric information. He found that they could extract information indirectly through screening and self-selection. This point was illustrated through his study of the insurance market, where the screening performed by insurance companies divides customers into risk classes.

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