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American economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz wins 2018 Sydney Peace Prize

Nobel Prize winning American economist Joseph Stiglitz will receive the 2018 Sydney Peace Prize in recognition of  contribution to tackling the global inequality crisis.

The former economic adviser to the Clinton administration and Chief Economist at the World Bank will come to Sydney to deliver the City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture at the Sydney Town Hall on November 15.

Archie Law, chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, said the choice of the Columbia University academic and acclaimed author of three best-selling books about inequality, will help put the spotlight on his message that “governments need to respond to his economic policy ideas”.

“In Australia, like many places in the world Professor Stiglitz writes about, we have suffered stagnant wages, the crushing of the trade unions and the dangers of reliance on the market economy,” he said.

As a prolific academic at world-leading universities and as an influential advocate in the policy world, Stiglitz has galvanised and shaped global debates on inequality and economic fairness over the last three decades.

The Peace Prize jury commended Professor Stiglitz, 75, for dedicating his life’s work to challenging conventional economics in the pursuit of global social justice, and for speaking truth to power while proposing achievable solutions. “Professor Stiglitz reminds us all that inequality is not inevitable – it is created, and our governments can act decisively to end the inequality crisis if they choose to do so,” Mr Law said.

Joseph Stiglitz in his office at New York’s Columbia University. The winner of this year’s Sydney Peace Prize, he says of Australia’s recent political stoushes: “Your car crashes are little nicks. America’s car crash is potentially fatal.”
Photo: Sasha Maslov/The New York Times

Professor Stiglitz said it was “a tremendous honour” to receive such recognition.

“It comes at a time not only when there is growing recognition of the magnitude of the crisis in capitalism and democracy caused by the Great Divide in our societies, but the political and economic consequences are being felt worldwide,” he said.

“We cannot have durable peace without social and economic justice and our political and economic system today are failing to create a world with such justice.”

The Sydney Peace Prize is awarded by the Sydney Peace Foundation at the University of Sydney, with support from the City of Sydney. The 2018 Sydney Peace Prize is supported by Oxfam Australia and The Australia Institute. Recipients, selected from nominations submitted by the public, have included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, Noam Chomsky, Patrick Dodson and Naomi Klein.

This article was written by Helen Pitt and first appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 21 April. Tickets for the November events in Sydney are available via bit.ly/2018SPPStiglitz