Paul Krugman

From Academic Kids

Paul Robin Krugman (born February 28, 1953) is an American economist, who has written several books and who currently (as of 2005) is a columnist for The New York Times.

Krugman is probably best known to the public as an outspoken and formidable critic of the economic and general policies of the administration of George W. Bush, views he presents in his column for the Times op-ed page. Unlike many economic pundits, Krugman is also regarded as a respected economist by his peers. Krugman has written hundreds of articles and eighteen books — some of them academic, and some of them written for the layperson. His International Economics: Theory and Policy is a standard textbook on international economics. In 1991 he was awarded the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal by the American Economic Association.



Krugman was born and grew up on Long Island, and majored in history as an undergraduate at Yale University. He obtained a Ph.D. from MIT in 1977 and taught at Yale, MIT and Stanford University before joining the faculty of Princeton University, where he has been since 1996. From 1982 to 1983, he spent a year working at the Reagan White House as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers.

When Bill Clinton came into office in 1992, it was expected that Krugman would be given a leading post, but he was passed over for various reasons. However, this allowed him to turn to writing journalism for wider audiences, first for Fortune and Slate, later for The Harvard Business Review, Foreign Policy, The Economist, Harper's, and Washington Monthly. In the early-1990's, he argued that the growth of economies in East Asia were not the result of new and original economic models, but rather increased capital and labor inputs, which did not result in an increase in total factors productivity. His prediction was that future economic growth in East Asia would slow as it became more difficult to generate economic growth from increasing inputs.

In his own words, he became adept at "new kind of writing ... essays for non-economists that were clear, effective, and entertaining." Krugman had been mentioned as a possible contender for a top economic policy post if John Kerry won the presidency in November, 2004.

Krugman worked on an advisory board for Enron throughout most of 1999 before resigning to take a job as a columnist. This became a source of controversy when the story of the Enron scandal broke, with critics accusing him of having a conflict of interest and the job of having been a bribe to control media coverage, charges he vehemently denies. He also notes that he disclosed the past Enron relationship when he later wrote about the company [1] (

Since January 2000, he has contributed a twice-weekly column to the Opinion/Editorial page of the New York Times, which has made him, in the words of the Washington Monthly, "the most important political columnist in America... he is almost alone in analyzing the most important story in politics in recent years — the seamless melding of corporate, class, and political party interests at which the Bush administration excels."

In September, 2003, Krugman published a collection of his columns under the title, The Great Unraveling. It was a scathing attack on the Bush's administration's economic and foreign policies. His main argument was that the large deficits by that Bush administration in response to both decreasing taxes, maintaining public spending, and fighting a war in Iraq were in the long run unsustainable, and would eventually generate a major economic crisis. The book was an immediate bestseller. Krugman combines a strong respect for the free market with a populist streak.

Krugman's high profile and his willingness to address controversial subjects have turned him into a target of heavy criticism, and sometimes even personal attacks, by his detractors, as well as praise from a growing body of fans. National Review Online columnist Donald Luskin in particular has been a noted critic of Krugman, and is the leader of the "Krugman Truth Squad", a group of commentators dedicated to debunking Krugman's perceived deceptions.

In the 1990s, Krugman's focus was on what can be described as policy economics, which he attempted to explain to the general audience in such works as Peddling Prosperity and columns attacking what he described as "policy entrepreneurs" who were focused single-mindedly on particular solutions, which they proposed as solving every conceivable crisis.

Krugman was the main architect of the zero interest rate policy.

Krugman's economic philosophy can best be described as neo-Keynesian.


  • When asked to define the economic policy of the Bush administration: "There is no economic policy. That's really important to say. The general modus operandi of the Bushies is that they don't make policies to deal with problems. They use problems to justify things they wanted to do anyway. So there is no policy to deal with the lack of jobs. There really isn't even a policy to deal with terrorism. It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do." – BuzzFlash interview, 11 September 2003 [2] (
  • "The media are desperately afraid of being accused of bias. And that's partly because there's a whole machine out there, an organized attempt to accuse them of bias whenever they say anything that the Right doesn't like. So rather than really try to report things objectively, they settle for being even-handed, which is not the same thing. One of my lines in a column -- in which a number of people thought I was insulting them personally -- was that if Bush said the Earth was flat, the mainstream media would have stories with the headline: 'Shape of Earth--Views Differ.' Then they'd quote some Democrats saying that it was round." [3] (


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External links

de:Paul Krugman el:Πωλ Κρούγκμαν ja:ポール・クルーグマン


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