Joseph Stiglitz

One of our most impressive Amherst alums is economist Joseph Stiglitz. He was born in Gary, Indiana and attended Amherst from 1960 to 1963.  He was AAS president and a member of the debate team.  He spent his fourth undergraduate year at MIT, where he later did post-grad work. 


Stiglitz is known for his research on screening, a concept you’ve studied if you took Intro to Econ.  Screening is used by one party to find out unknown information about another party.  For example, when you apply to Amherst or for a job, you have to send in grades, recommendations, and a resume so that the admissions committee or the employer can weed out bad candidates.


Stiglitz has an amazing list of accomplishments.  He is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank.  He was eventually fired from the World Bank because of his dissenting politics.  He is known for his critical view of the management of globalization, free market economists, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.  He is one of the most frequently cited economists in the world.  He was listed by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.       


Stiglitz joined the Clinton administration in 1993, and was appointed Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in 1995.  He has also advised the Obama administration.  He is now a member of the faculty at Columbia University.  In 2012 he was awarded the Legion of Honor, in the rank of officer, by the French ambassador in the United States, François Delattre.  These are just a sample of his many accomplishments.  Amherst econ majors, this is what we’re expecting from you in ten years!