Exchanges: The Global Economy

Sunday 14 July



Nobel Prize-winning American economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz debates the cost of inequality with Justin Rowlatt in front of an audience at Paris Dauphine University, for the BBC World Service. It is the first in a series of programmes that seeks to quiz the people whose ideas shape the way we view the global economy.

As the former Chief Economist of the World Bank and advisor to Bill Clinton, Joseph Stiglitz’s counsel is frequently sought by the developing world’s leadership and by national governments across the globe. However, he has a stark warning to make. Stiglitz believes inequality is so rampant globally that it depresses economies and divides societies. The very rich are incapable of consuming all they earn, and by holding stockpiles of money they cause a drag on growth. The rest of the population, with declining wages and less influence on politicians, have to borrow more to keep living standards the same.

Stiglitz discusses how he wants to curb financial sectors, restore full employment, get governments to drive growth and raise taxes. He debates whether ‘state-led’ capitalism can lead to high growth and stable economies, and whether equality, so long a byword for inefficiency and demotivation, is really the way to restore health to advanced economies around the world.