Stiglitz Wins Moynihan Prize for Research on Income Inequality

Columbia University Professor and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz won the 2014 Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize for his work on income inequality in the U.S. and its impact on public policy.

The American Academy of Political and Social Science gives the award, named for the late Senator Moynihan of New York, to individuals who “use sound analysis and social science research to inform public policy, while also contributing to the public discourse on society’s most pressing issues,” the academy said today in a statement. The group will present the award to Stiglitz on May 8 in Washington.

“Stiglitz has contributed greatly to our understanding of the sources and dire ramifications of economic inequality in America,” the academy said, citing the economist’s book published this year, “The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future.”

The award’s spotlight on inequality adds to mounting public focus on the gap between rich and poor. President Barack Obama said in a speech last week that economic trends have “jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain, that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead.”

That address followed Pope Francis’s Nov. 26 criticism of inequality. “Such an economy kills,” the pontiff said.

Stiglitz, 70, served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors during President Bill Clinton’s administration, and later as chief economist at the World Bank. Stiglitz has been a strong advocate of the Fed’s unprecedented monetary stimulus aimed at stoking the expansion.

He won the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics with the University of California’s George Akerlof and A. Michael Spence, a professor at New York University. His research on asymmetric information in markets described how poorly informed agents extract information from those with more resources, and the resulting impact on trends such as unemployment and credit rationing.

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