Prof Joseph Stiglitz and the IDS Connection

When the world renowned scholar Prof Joseph Stiglitz lands in Kenya to deliver a public lecture at the University of Nairobi on May 9, 2018, not many people may recall his Kenyan link in the long academic journey that culminated in Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science (2001).
Prof. Stiglitz, who is also a former Senior Vice President of World Bank, had a stint at the University of Nairobi’s Institute for Development Studies (IDS) as Senior Research Fellow ((under Rockefeller Foundation Grant), ) in 1969-1971. This period is duly documented in his impressive 123-page curriculum vitae, which selectively outlines his milestone moments.
According to http://prizeineconomics.blogspot.co.ke/2009/11/joseph-e-stiglitz-b-1943...., Stiglitz’s concerns about the ‘competitive equilibrium model’ were enormously deepened by a period he spent in Kenya. In particular, the developing world exposed the severe limitations of the array of assumptions upon which the competitive model rested. Stiglitz saw that in Kenya the idiosyncrasies of market institutions and inequalities in the distribution of wealth mattered in ways that conventional economics appeared unwilling to acknowledge. Insight and critical reflection of this form were to become hallmarks of his career as a professional economist.
Prof Stiglitz’s Nobel citation suggests that he ‘is probably the most cited researcher within the information economics literature. At the University of Nairobi, the scholar will deliver a public lecture on ‘The Stockholm Statement: New Strategies for Inclusive Development.’
The Institute for Development Studies, UoN, is proud to be associated with Prof Stiglitz, more so as he makes a “home” comeback. The return rekindles memories of many renowned scholars who started their careers at IDS. They include James Tobin, winner of Nobel Prize in Economics in 1981; James Coleman, renowned for social capital theory; and Michael Todaro also distinguished for migration theory.

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