Paul Robin Krugman is an American economist and Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, having previously been Professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Princeton University. Krugman was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2008 for his contribution in formulating “New Trade Theory” and “new Economic geography. The Prize Committee cited Krugman's 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
Krugman has for many years been widely read as columnist for the New York Times, acquiring a public profile rarely enjoyed by economists of his stature. Especially since the global financial and economic crisis of 2008, Krugman has been instrumental in making mundane and technical economic issues accessible and compelling for the general public. His personal blog “Conscience of a Liberal” provides additional space for Krugman’s prolific and rich intellectual expression, simplifying and popularizing economics for his many followers (3 million on Twitter alone!). The Economist has described him as "the most celebrated economist of his generation."
Krugman earned his bachelor degree from Yale University in 1974. In 1977, he received his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he became a faculty member between 1979- 2000. During this period, he served as senior international economist on U.S President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers in 1982 and 1983. He went on to teach at Stanford University before becoming a Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University from 2000-2015. His academic work and public advocacy mainly focuses on topics like international trade and finance, macroeconomics and fiscal policy, and economic geography. Krugman has received some 14 academic awards including “John Bates Clark Medal” in 1991 (an award given every two years to the top economist under the age of 40), “Adam Smith Award of the National Association for Business Economics” in 1995, “Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics” in 2008 and others.
Krugman is a prolific and no-holds-barred writer: for twenty years he has written columns in prominent publications such as Slate, Fortune, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, Newsweek and The New York Times Magazine. He also published over 200 papers in professional journals, and around 20 books including economic textbooks such as Economics (several editions), Microeconomics (2004), Macroeconomics (2005), and International Economics: Theory and Policy (2006). Moreover, he has authored nonacademic books like “The Age of Diminished Expectations: U.S. Economic Policy in the 1990s (1990)”,”The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century (2003)”, “The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 (2008)”.
As for his economic views, Krugman is one of the most prominent contemporary Keynesian economists. Furthermore, he is one of the most influential and innovative public intellectuals in U.S. As a leading voice, he expresses his well-informed opinions on many economic and political issues of American domestic and international policy. For instance, in his book “The Great Unraveling”, he criticized President George W. Bush’s policy of cutting taxes for rich. He also criticized 2003 Iraq war, in addition of his continuous criticism of growing income inequality in U.S as result of Republican ideology. He was one of the academic supporters of President Barak Obama’s policy response to the 2008 crisis, which entailed unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus programmes that only recently are being phased out as their favourable effect on averting a prolonged recession have borne fruit. Nowadays, he is notable in his rigorous and scathing criticism of the Republican Party economic ideology and President Donald Trump’s economic and foreign policies.
His work on the new trade theory was expansion of the previous work on international trade and a new model of monopolistic competition within trade. Krugman remains supportive of free trade and globalization, and he argues that consumers preferences and desires for diversity, the regional concentrations and the economies of scale have a great contribution in explaining trade relations between countries. When there are economies of scale in production, it is possible that countries may become 'locked into' disadvantageous patterns of trade. Krugman points out that although globalization has been positive on a whole, since the 1980s the process known as hyper-globalization has at least played a part in rising inequality. He has also been critical of industrial policy, which New Trade Theory suggests might offer nations rent-seeking advantages if "strategic industries" can be identified, saying it's not clear that such identification can be done accurately enough to matter.
Krugman has done much to revive discussion of the liquidity trap as a topic in economics. He recommended pursuing aggressive fiscal policy and unconventional monetary policy to counter Japan's lost decade in the 1990s, arguing that the country was mired in a Keynesian liquidity trap. Krugman has since drawn parallels between Japan's 'lost decade' and the post -2008 recession, arguing that expansionary fiscal policy is necessary as the major industrialized economies are mired in a liquidity trap. The debate he started at that time over liquidity traps and what policies best address them continues in the economics literature. Krugman was one of the most prominent advocates of the 2008–2009 Keynesian resurgence, so much so that one economics commentator referred to it as the "Krugman insurgency."