October 10, 2001
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Joseph E. Stiglitz, the John J. McCloy ’16 Professor of American Institutions and International Relations at Amherst College and professor of economics at the graduate schools of both business and international relations at Columbia University, will deliver a lecture on “A Tale of Two Countries: Russia and China’s Transition to a Market Economy” on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 4:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst. Stiglitz, a 1964 graduate of Amherst, is the 2001 recipient of the Nobel prize in economic science. His talk will be free and open to the public.

Stiglitz served as chief economist and senior vice president, development economics, at the World Bank from 1997 until 2000. The New York Times in 1999 called him “the most outspoken critic of the practices that the big industrial nations favor in their relations with the developing world,” and quoted his observation that there is an “intellectual gap between what we know and what is still practiced” in the bank’s thinking on sustaining growth in developing nations. The chair of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Clinton administration, Stiglitz has taught at Stanford, Princeton and Yale and All Souls College, Oxford.

Stiglitz is a leading scholar of the economics of the public sector. He helped revive interest in the economics of technical change and other factors that contribute to long-run increases in productivity and living standards. As an academic economist in the ’70s, Stiglitz helped create “the economics of information,” an approach that observes that markets fail to work perfectly because participants have less-than-perfect information. Without good information, for instance, foreign investors will not invest in a developing nation, no matter how high it sets its interest rates.

In 1979, the American Economic Association awarded Stiglitz its biennial John Bates Clark Award, given to the economist under 40 who has made the most significant contributions to economics. He has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society.

The John J. McCloy ’16 Professorship was established at Amherst College in 1983 to honor John J. McCloy and his outstanding career of service and accomplishment in American politics and international diplomacy. Stiglitz’s visit is hosted by the Amherst College Department of Economics.