Joseph Stiglitz will give evidence to MSPs

Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. Picture: Getty
Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. Picture: Getty
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A Nobel prize-winning economist with “unparalleled” expertise is to give evidence to the Scottish Parliament for the first time.

Professor Joseph Stiglitz, a member of Alex Salmond’s Council of Economic Advisers, will be questioned by MSPs on Holyrood’s Economy Committee later this month.

The economist, who has also advised both the French and American governments, will give his views on alternatives to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a means of measuring economic performance.

Committee convener Murdo Fraser said he was “delighted” that MSPs would get the chance to quiz Prof Stiglitz.

He said: “Professor Stiglitz is a world-renowned academic who has advised the French and American governments as well as the World Bank and the United Nations.

“So, his expertise in alternative measures of economic growth is unparalleled and our committee is delighted that he will inform our understanding of this subject.”

Prof Stiglitz, from Columbia University in New York, won the Nobel Prize for economics in 2001.

He served on US president Bill Clinton’s economic team before joining the World Bank as chief economist and senior vice president.

In 2008 the then French president Nicolas Sarkozy asked him to chair the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance.

The following year the president of the United Nations General Assembly tasked him with leading the Commission of Experts on the Reform of the International Financial and Monetary System.

Prof Stiglitz said: “I am delighted to advise, for the first time, a committee of the Scottish Parliament.

“My work with the international Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress has underlined the concerns over the adequacy of gross domestic product as a measure of well-being, and I hope that my knowledge and expertise in this area will convince the committee to consider this issue in more detail.”

Prof Stiglitz is also a member of the Fiscal Commission Working Group, which was set up by the First Minister to consider the economic challenges and opportunities an independent Scotland would have.

In a report published earlier this week, the group said keeping the pound as the currency if Scotland became independent would be both “sensible” and an attractive choice for the rest of the UK.

Prof Stiglitz will give evidence to the MSPs on February 27 via video link.