Centre for Finance and Development
28 October 2020

Joseph Stiglitz on Conquering the Great Divide

Professor Joseph Stiglitz talks about solutions to lessen the deep divisions manifesting themselves during the COVID19 pandemic, a topic of concern for researchers at the IMF, The Graduate Institute, and elsewhere.

In a recent article, Joseph Stiglitz, professor at Columbia University and a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, writes about the deep divisions that manifest during the current COVID19 pandemic. This article was published in the latest issue of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Finance & Development (F&D) Journal.

Stiglitz writes that “COVID-19 has not been an equal opportunity virus: it goes after people in poor health and those whose daily lives expose them to greater contact with others. And this means it goes disproportionately after the poor, especially in poor countries and in advanced economies like the United States where access to health care is not guaranteed”. Furthermore, “the pandemic itself is likely to increase disparities”, as Professor Stiglitz mentions.

Stiglitz further underlines the fact that countries have deployed very different answers to the pandemic. He particularly emphasises the approach taken by New Zealand that “is working to redeploy some underused resources to build the kind of economy that should mark the post-pandemic world: one that is greener and more knowledge-based, with even greater equality, trust, and solidarity”.

Finally, Joseph Stiglitz argues that there is a need for “a greater demonstration of global and national solidarity” if the world wants to avoid an increase of disparities and long-lasting scars from the pandemic.


IMF and Graduate Institute research on COVID19 recovery

Researchers at the International Monetary Fund and The Graduate Institute have been interested in research about the design of governments’ measures to stimulate the post-pandemic economic recovery.

At a recent event co-organised between The Graduate Institute, the IMF and the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), panellists from these three institutions discussed the chapter Public Investment for the Recovery from the October issue of the IMF’s Fiscal Monitor. The recording of this event is still available.