Part of a podcast series

The Wheeler Centre

View all episodes in this series

Joseph Stiglitz: Global Inequality and the 1%

Listen to Joseph Stiglitz: Global Inequality and the 1%

Photograph of Mary Kostakidis and Joseph Stiglitz

Mary Kostakidis and Joseph Stiglitz at the Athenaeum Theatre — Photo: Scott Limbrick

‘Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth,’ Joseph Stiglitz has argued.

Is our economic system fundamentally broken? Who, exactly, are the 1% and how did they get to control so much of the world’s wealth and resources? And are free-market fundamentalists shooting themselves in the Louboutin with short-term, self-serving policies?

These are among the questions that preoccupy Nobel Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz – author, academic and perhaps the closest thing in the world to a celebrity economist.

'I don't think anybody today would say the bankers' pursuit of self-interest lead to the wellbeing of society.'

Joseph Stiglitz

Starting out as a student activist during the civil-rights movement, Stiglitz, now a professor at Columbia University, has devoted his working life to understanding and rectifying the complex problems of global poverty and inequality. Stiglitz coined the notion of ‘the 1%’ in his influential 2012 book, The Price of Inequality, and has served as an economic advisor at the United Nations and as chief economist at the World Bank.

In Australia to receive the 2018 Sydney Peace Prize, Stiglitz appears here in conversation with Mary Kostakidis at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne to discuss global inequality – and what we can do about it. Is profound economic overhaul possible in advanced democracies? Which old ideas about wealth distribution are discredited, and which deserve to be revived? And how does the recent global wave of populist political movements play into, and against, the economic status quo?

Presented in partnership with the Sydney Peace Foundation, Oxfam Australia and the Reichstein Foundation.

Who?

Portrait of Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph E. Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is also the co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD, and the Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute. A recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), he is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and a former member and chairman of the (US president's) Council of Economic Advisers. 

Portrait of Mary Kostakidis

Mary Kostakidis

Mary Kostakidis is a journalist and for 20 years presented SBS World News. In 1980 she was a member of the management team that developed SBS television. Mary was a member of the National Human Rights Consultation Committee that recommended a Human Rights Act for Australia. A former Chair of USYD’s Sydney Peace Foundation, she has also served on the Advertising Standards Board, the Fred Hollows Board, the National Library Council and Sydney Theatre Board, and is a member of the Privacy Foundation Advisory Panel.

The Wheeler Centre

Subscribe to the Wheeler Centre's podcast to hear full recordings of our talks – featuring the best in books, writing and ideas.