DEFINITION of Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman is an economist and writer from the United States, known for his work on international economics and trade issues. Considered among the world’s most influential economists, Krugman was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2008 for his work on New Trade Theory and New Economic Geography. He has taught at Yale, Princeton, Stanford and at the London School of Economics, where he now maintains the title of Centenary Professor. His current positions include Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and he is a regular Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times with a column where he opines on economic and political issues.


Born in Albany, New York in 1953, Krugman attended a public high school in Nassau County, New York and then went on to Yale University.  He received his BA in economics and graduated summa cum laude, and then went on to MIT for his graduate studies. He received his Ph.D from MIT in 1977 with a thesis titled “Essays on Flexible Exchange Rates” and became an assistant professor in economics at Yale in the fall of 1977.

In 1979, Krugman joined the economics faculty at MIT and in 1983, he spent a year in the Reagan White House as a staff member of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). In 1984 he returned to MIT as a full professor, a position he held until the year 2000 when he joined Princeton faculty as a Professor of Economics and International Affairs. He would remain at Princeton until retiring from there in 2015 to join the faculty at the City University of New York as a Distinguished Professor of Economics. He remains a professor emeritus at Princeton, however, and he is also a member of the Group of 30, also known as G30, who meet twice yearly to discuss issues of the global economy.

Krugman has written extensively on scholastic issues in economics, including academic papers and books. Subject matter includes new trade theory, new economic geography, agglomeration and economics of scale, international finance, and macroeconomics and fiscal policy. Textbooks include a standard text for economics students, International Economics: Theory and Policy, with Maurice Obstfeld, currently in its 7thedition.

In addition to his teaching and scholarly work, Krugman is also an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, and he’s also written for Fortune magazine, Slate, Foreign Affairs, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American, plus hundreds of academic papers and commentary on economics and politics. His column in the New York Times is referred to “The Conscience of a Liberal,” and is published twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays. In 2007, Krugman released a book by the same name, and Krugman refers to himself as a “modern liberal.”