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Paul Krugman


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 papers 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 economics as an undergraduate at Yale. 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 wilingness 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. Donald Luskin in particular has been a noted critic of Krugman.

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, September 11, 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]


Authored or co-authored

  • Economics (not yet published)
  • Microeconomics and Student Cdr (not yet released) (ISBN 0716767007)
  • Microeconomics and Study Guide (not yet released, November 2004) (ISBN 071676699X)
  • Krugman Wall Street Journal Sub Card (not yet released, November 2004) {ISBN 0716766973}
  • Microeconomics (March 2004) (ISBN 0716759977)
  • The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century (September 2003) (ISBN 0393058506)
    • A book of his New York Times columns, many of them dealing with Bush economic policies, some dealing with the economy in general.
  • International Economics: Theory and Policy (6th Edition) (July 26, 2002) (ISBN 0201770377)
  • The New Trade Agenda (Foreign Affairs Editors' Choice) (December 2001) (ISBN 0876093020)
  • Fuzzy Math: The Essential Guide to the Bush Tax Plan (May 4, 2001) (ISBN 0393050629)
  • The Return of Depression Economics (May 1, 1999) (ISBN 039304839X)
    • In this work Krugman considers the long economic stagnation of Japan through the 1990s, the Asian financial crisis, and problems in Latin America, and concludes that the generally accepted idea among economists that depressions can be prevented is no longer true.
  • The Accidental Theorist and Other Dispatches from the Dismal Science (May 1, 1998) (ISBN 0393046389)
    • A collection of Krugman's articles for various publications regarding the economy.
  • International Economics (March 1998) (ISBN 0673521869)
  • The Age of Diminished Expectations, Third Edition (August 8, 1997) (ISBN 0262112248)
  • Competitiveness (January 1, 1997)
  • Pop Internationalism (March 1, 1996) (ISBN 0262112108)
  • Self Organizing Economy (February 1, 1996) (ISBN 087609177X)
  • Emu and the Regions (December 1995) (ISBN 1567080383)
  • Development, Geography, and Economic Theory (Ohlin Lectures) (September 15, 1995) (ISBN 0262112035)
  • Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in an Age of Diminished Expectations (April 1, 1995) (ISBN 0393312925)
    • A book for those seeking to understand the history of economic thought from the time of the first rumblings of revolt against Keynesianism to the present. Written for the economics layman. Somewhat dense, but worthwhile in the opinion of some.
  • Foreign Direct Investment in the United States (3rd Edition) (February 1, 1995) (ISBN 0881322040)
  • World Savings Shortage (September 1, 1994) (ISBN 0881321613)
  • What Do We Need to Know About the International Monetary System? (Essays in International Finance, No 190 July 1993) (June 1, 1993) (ISBN 0881650978)
  • Currencies and Crises (June 11, 1992) (ISBN 0262111659)
  • Geography and Trade (Gaston Eyskens Lecture Series) (August 1991) (ISBN 0262111594)
  • The Risks Facing the World Economy (July 1991) (ISBN 1567080731)
  • Has the Adjustment Process Worked? (Policy Analyses in International Economics, 34) (June 1, 1991) (ISBN 0881321168)
  • Rethinking International Trade (April 1, 1990) (ISBN 0262111489)
  • Trade Policy and Market Structure (March 30, 1989) (ISBN 0262081822)
  • Exchange-Rate Instability (Lionel Robbins Lectures) (November 2, 1988) (ISBN 0262111403)
  • Adjustment in the World Economy (August 1987) (ISBN 1567080235)
  • Strategic Trade Policy and the New International Economics (January 1986) (ISBN 0262111128)
  • Market Structure and Foreign Trade: Increasing Returns, Imperfect Competition, and the International Economy (May 1, 1985) (ISBN 0262081504)

Edited or co-edited

  • Currency Crises (National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report) (September 1, 2000) (ISBN 0226454622)
  • Trade with Japan : Has the Door Opened Wider? (National Bureau of Economic Research Project Report) (March 1, 1995) (ISBN 0226454592/)
  • Empirical Studies of Strategic Trade Policy (National Bureau of Economic Research Project Report) (April 15, 1994) (ISBN 0226454606)
  • Exchange Rate Targets and Currency Bands (October 1991) (ISBN 0521415330)

External links

  • The Unofficial Paul Krugman Archive contains most if not every article ever written by Paul Krugman.
  • Paul Krugman (Princeton) which hasn't been updated since late 2003.
  • Paul Krugman (MIT) archives of his Slate and Fortune columns plus other writings 1996-2000
  • New York Times columns with free access to the latest two
  • The Accidental Theorist online version of his book of essays
  • Washington Monthly profile from December 2002.
  • Looksmart - Paul Krugman
    directory of links
  • The Conspiracy to Keep you Poor and Stupid The blog of Donald Luskin, a man who calls himself a member of the 'Krugman Truth Squad,' which is dedicated to exposing the alleged deceptions of Paul Krugman.

Last updated: 02-10-2005 23:32:50
Last updated: 02-20-2005 07:32:09