Paul Krugman

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Paul Robin Krugman (born February 28, 1953) is an economist at Princeton University who has written several books and since 2000 has written a twice-weekly op-ed column for The New York Times. He is currently a professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Krugman is famous in academia for his work on trade theory in providing a model in which firms and countries produce and trade because of economies of scale and for his textbook explanations of currency crises. He was also a vocal critic of the new economy view of the late 1990s as well as pegged exchange rate regimes of the island Asia nations and Thailand before the 1997 debacle as well as relying on governments to defend the pegged rates that investors like Long Term Capital Management relied on just before the 1998 Russian debt default. His International Economics: Theory and Policy (currently in its seventh edition) is a standard textbook on international economics without resort to calculus. In 1991 he was awarded the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal by the American Economic Association. Krugman's economic philosophy can best be described as neo-Keynesian, which he has made accessible to the common reader in books such as Peddling Prosperity, which criticize Democratic policies of the late 1980s to mid 1990s.

Krugman is an outspoken critic of the Bush administration's foreign and domestic policies. Unlike many economic pundits, Krugman is also regarded as an important scholarly contributor by some of his peers. Krugman has written over 200 articles and twenty books[1]—some of them academic, and some of them written for the layperson.

Contents

[edit] Biography

Krugman (pronounced with a long U) was born and grew up on Long Island, and majored in economics (though his initial interest was in history) as an undergraduate at Yale University. He obtained a Ph.D. from MIT in 1977 and taught at Yale, MIT, UC Berkeley, the London School of Economics, and Stanford University before joining the faculty of Princeton University, where he has been since 2000. From 1982 to 1983, he spent a year working at the Reagan White House as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers. He is also a member of the international economic body, the Group of Thirty.

When Bill Clinton came into office in 1992, it was expected that Krugman would be given a leading post, but he was passed over in favor of Laura Tyson primarily due to the administration's early flirtation with industrial policy. 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 popularized the argument made by Laurence Lau and Alwyn Young, among others, 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 factor 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 considered a likely pick for a top economic policy post if John Kerry had won the 2004 presidential election.[citation needed]

Krugman worked on an advisory board for Enron throughout most of 1999, being paid $37,500[2] for attending two board meetings, before New York Times rules required him to resign when he took 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 in columns written before and after the scandal, he disclosed his past Enron relationship when he wrote about the company.[3][4]

Since January 2000, he has contributed a twice-weekly column to the Op-Ed 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, taken as a whole, was a scathing attack on the Bush's administration's economic and foreign policies. His main argument was that the large deficits generated by the Bush administration — generated by 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.

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.

[edit] Criticisms

Krugman's high profile and his skewering of policies associated with the Republican party while providing few criticisms of Democrats have turned him into a lightning rod for intense criticism by his detractors. A November 13, 2003 article in The Economist [5] said in part: "A glance through his past columns reveals a growing tendency to attribute all the world's ills to George Bush…Even his economics is sometimes stretched…Overall, the effect is to give lay readers the illusion that Mr Krugman's perfectly respectable personal political beliefs can somehow be derived empirically from economic theory." Blogger Ken Waight uses a data analysis methodology at his Lying in Ponds website that ranks Krugman among the most partisan columnists[6]. In his May 22, 2005 farewell column, New York Times ombudsman Daniel Okrent wrote, "Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults,"[7] at first controversially not providing any examples, a few days later Okrent was drawn from retirement into an email back-and-forth with Krugman publicly hosted at the Times website by the new ombudsman.[8]

Frequent use of the term "shrill" by moderate and conservative pundits, in criticizing Krugman's partisan rhetorical style, inspired the creation, by J. Bradford DeLong of the Shrillblog, and led to the adoption by the liberal blogosphere of "shrill" as a term of praise for anyone offering an aggressive critique -- partisan or not -- of the Bush administration or Republicans and conservatives more generally.

An editorial column by Krugman triggered the Inequality Debate of 2006 in the blogosphere.

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] Authored or co-authored

[edit] Edited or co-edited

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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Paul Krugman

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