Bard News & Events

Press Release

Nobel Prize–Winning Economist Joseph E. Stiglitz to Discuss His New Book at Bard College on Thursday, April 24

Columbia Professor and Former Chief Economist for The World Bank Is Co-Author of The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict

Darren O'Sullivan
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY — When the war in Iraq started in 2002, the Bush administration projected that the conflict would cost approximately $50 billion. In their new book, The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the War in Iraq (W. W. Norton, 2008), Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes, the leading budget expert at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, offer a comprehensive assessment of the costs of the war and argue that its true cost is $3 trillion and climbing. On Thursday, April 24, Stiglitz will discuss the book at Bard College. The event, which is being sponsored by The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, Bard’s Economics Program, and the Bard Economics Club, takes place at 4:30 p.m. in Weis Cinema in the Bertelsmann Campus Center. It is free and open to the public. Among the issues Stiglitz and Bilmes discuss in The Three Trillion Dollar War are the budgetary costs of the war, its effect on the U.S. economy, the cost of caring for our veterans, and the war’s global and humanitarian consequences. Using the government’s own figures (including documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act) and very conservative estimates of future expenditures, Stiglitz and Bilmes tally up the full, real costs of the war. Included in these calculations are not only the “basics,” such as soldiers’ wages and the money needed to keep vehicles and weapons operational, but also the bills that will keep coming for years after Bush leaves the White House, such as the costs of providing health and disability benefits for the thousands of injured troops returning home. The United States, they argue, will be paying these bills for decades to come. Joseph E. Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University in New York and chair of Columbia University's Committee on Global Thought. He is also the co-founder and president of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information. Stiglitz was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1993 to 1995, during the Clinton administration, and served as CEA chairman from 1995 to 1997. He then became chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank in 1997, positions he held until 2000. Recognized around the world as a leading economic educator, Stiglitz has written textbooks that have been translated into more than a dozen languages. He founded one of the leading economics journals, The Journal of Economic Perspectives. His book Globalization and Its Discontents (W. W. Norton, June 2001) has been translated into 35 languages and has sold more than one million copies worldwide. Other recent books include The Roaring Nineties (W. W. Norton), Towards a New Paradigm in Monetary Economics (Cambridge University Press), with Bruce Greenwald, and Fair Trade for All (Oxford University Press), with Andrew Charlton, and Making Globalization Work (W. W. Norton). Stiglitz helped create a new branch of economics, "The Economics of Information," exploring the consequences of information asymmetries and pioneering such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not only of theorists but also of policy analysts. He has made major contributions to macroeconomics and monetary theory, to development economics and trade theory, to public and corporate finance, to the theories of industrial organization and rural organization, and to the theories of welfare economics and of income and wealth distribution. In the 1980s, he helped revive interest in the economics of R&D. His work has helped explain the circumstances in which markets do not work well, and how selective government intervention can improve their performance. A graduate of Amherst College, he received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1967, became a full professor at Yale in 1970, and, in 1979, was awarded the John Bates Clark Award, given biennially by the American Economic Association to the economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the field. He has taught at Princeton, Stanford, and MIT, and was the Drummond Professor and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is on the board of governors of The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. For more information on Stiglitz’s talk, call 845-758-7649 or e-mail # # # (4.14.08)

back to top

This event was last updated on 04-24-2008