Most poor people earn more than minimum wage when they are working; their problem is not low wages. The problem comes when they are not working.
I went to public schools, and while Gary was, like most American cities, racially segregated, it was at least socially integrated - a cross section of children from families of all walks of life.
Amherst is a liberal arts college, committed to providing students with a broad education.
My research in this period centered around growth, technical change, and income distribution, both how growth affected the distribution of income and how the distribution of income affected growth.
I grew up in a family in which political issues were often discussed, and debated intensely.
My teachers helped guide and motivate me; but the responsibility of learning was left with me, an approach to learning which was later reinforced by my experiences at Amherst.
I think in part the reason is that seeing an economy that is, in many ways, quite different from the one grows up in, helps crystallize issues: in one's own environment, one takes too much for granted, without asking why things are the way they are.
Seeing an economy that is, in many ways, quite different from the one grows up in, helps crystallize issues: in one's own environment, one takes too much for granted, without asking why things are the way they are.
The extra curricular activity in which I was most engaged - debating - helped shape my interests in public policy.
I recognized that information was, in many respects, like a public good, and it was this insight that made it clear to me that it was unlikely that the private market would provide efficient resource allocations whenever information was endogenous.
The notion that every well educated person would have a mastery of at least the basic elements of the humanities, sciences, and social sciences is a far cry from the specialized education that most students today receive, particularly in the research universities.
If stability and efficiency required that there existed markets that extended infinitely far into the future - and these markets clearly did not exist - what assurance do we have of the stability and efficiency of the capitalist system?
International lending banks need to focus on areas where private investment doesn't go, such as infrastructure projects, education and poverty relief.
But individuals and firms spend an enormous amount of resources acquiring information, which affects their beliefs; and actions of others too affect their beliefs.
As I noted in my Nobel lecture, an early insight in my work on the economics of information concerned the problem of appropriability - the difficulty that those who pay for information have in getting returns.