Clip: Why a Nobel Prize-winning Economist Became an Economist

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In his two-part interview, the economist Joseph E. Stiglitz talks to Bill about the importance of making our economy work for all citizens of the United States — not just the well-off. In this clip, Bill asks if there was a moment when the Nobel Prize winner decided to bring a moral dimension to the field of economics.


Stiglitz tells Moyers that he was influenced by the experiences of his father, an insurance salesman and his mother, a schoolteacher, as well as by his hometown.

I have the good fortune, you might say, of growing up in Gary, Indiana, an industrial town. Most people would say that’s not good fortune. But it was good fortune in that it exposed me to the real America. Not the rich suburb, not, you know, growing up in a typical family… Gary was an industrial city, marked by a lot of poverty, discrimination, episodic unemployment, and a business cycle going up and down. You couldn’t help but feel that the market economy, capitalism, wasn’t working quite the way that some of these people who say it was the wonder of wonders.

Watch part one and part two of Bill’s interview with Stiglitz.

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