Paul Krugman

Influential economist, prolific author, and commentator.


Ranked #3 in 2009.


Recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 2008.


Named favourite living economist under the age of 60 in a survey of economics professors, 2011.


Krugman was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his contributions to New Trade Theory and New Economic Geography and, in particular, for his work explaining the patterns of international trade and the geographic distribution of economic activity, by examining the effects of economies of scale and of consumer preferences for diverse goods and services. “By having integrated economies of scale into explicit general equilibrium models,” the committee stated, “Krugman has deepened our understanding of the determinants of trade and the location of economic activity.” Krugman has also been influential in the fields of international finance, macroeconomics, and fiscal policy. He has authored or edited almost 30 books.


Krugman’s interest in economics began with the Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov, in which the social scientists of the future use a new science of “psychohistory” to try to save civilization. According to Krugman, since modern-day science fell far short of psychohistory, he turned to economics as the next best thing. After obtaining his PhD at MIT, he became assistant professor at Yale and joined the faculty at MIT in 1979. In 2000, he moved on to Princeton as professor of economics and international affairs. In 2015, he joined the faculty at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Krugman’s book International Economics: Theory and Policy, which he co-authored with Maurice Obstfeld, is a standard undergraduate textbook on international economics.


The Age of Diminished Expectations: US Economic Policy in the 1990s (MIT Press, 1990); Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in an Age of Diminished Expectations (WW Norton, 1994); Pop Internationalism (MIT Press, 1996); The Accidental Theorist and Other Dispatches from the Dismal Science (Penguin, 1998); The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century (WW Norton, 2003); The Conscience of a Liberal (WW Norton, 2007); The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 (Allen Lane, 2008); End This Depression Now! (WW Norton, 2012); Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future (WW Norton, 2020).


Media picks


“Beyond doubt the key player in ‘placing geographical analysis squarely in the economic mainstream’ … and in conferring it the central role it now assumes.”

Nobel Prize Committee

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