Joseph Stiglitz on Economic Growth After World War II

I recently sat down with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz to talk about economic growth.

Stiglitz has done a lot of work on the distribution of wealth throughout economies, and how it impacts growth over time. In this video, he talks about some of the changes to the economy after World War II and how they affected growth. Transcript follows.


Joseph Stiglitz: The period after World War II was a period in which we grew together, inequality came down, and it was a period in which the economy grew faster than in, say, the period after 1980, where we grew apart and we grew more slowly. The important lesson of that, which is that you can grow faster, I think, with a more equal society that actually is part of the price of inequality that we pay.

What do we do? I think there were a number of things that we did. We regulated the banking system more. One of the things that were really important was after World War II, we passed the GI Bill. The GI Bill meant that everybody, everybody who had fought, which was essentially everybody in our society, or at least all the men in our society, had access to a higher education. Inequality in access to education was reduced enormously in those years after World War II.

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