Alan Krueger

Alan Krueger
Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers
In office
November 7, 2011  August 2, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Austan Goolsbee
Succeeded by Jason Furman
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy
In office
May 7, 2009  October 16, 2010
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Phil Swagel
Succeeded by Jan Eberly
Personal details
Born (1960-09-17) September 17, 1960
Livingston, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lisa Simon
Children Benjamin
Alma mater Cornell University
Harvard University
Religion Judaism

Alan Bennett Krueger (born September 17, 1960) is an American economist, Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. On March 7, 2009, he was nominated by President Barack Obama to be United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for economic policy.[1] In October 2010, he announced his resignation from the Treasury Department, to return to Princeton University.[2] He is among the 50 highest ranked economists in the world according to IDEAS/RePEc. On August 29, 2011, he was nominated by Obama to be chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers,[3][4] and on November 3, 2011, the Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination.[5]

Early life

Krueger grew up in a Jewish family[6] in Livingston, New Jersey, and graduated from Livingston High School in 1979.[7]


Krueger developed and applied the method of natural experiments to study the effect of education on earnings, the minimum wage on employment, and other issues.

Krueger compared restaurant jobs in New Jersey, which raised its minimum wage, to restaurant jobs in Pennsylvania, which did not, and found that restaurant employment in New Jersey increased, while it decreased in Pennsylvania.[8] The results reinvigorated the academic debate on the employment effects of minimum wages and spawned a large and often conflicted literature.[9]

His books, Education Matters: Selected Essays by Alan B. Krueger and (with James Heckman) Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policies? review the available research relating to positive externalities accruing to society from increased government investment in educating the children of the poor. His summary of the available research shows relatively high returns to society from educational investments that have been shown in numerous formal and natural experiments to reduce crime and recidivism. At one point, he concluded he does "not envision investment in human capital development as the sole component of a program to address the adverse consequences of income inequality. It is part of the solution, but not the whole solution. In principle, the optimal governmental policy regarding income inequality would employ multiple instruments, up to the point at which the social benefit per additional dollar of cost of each instrument is equal across all instruments."[10]

In his book, What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism (2007), he wrote that in contrast to the assumption that terrorists come from impoverished, uneducated environments, terrorists often come from middle-class, college-educated backgrounds.[11][12]

From 1994-95 he served as Chief Economist at the United States Department of Labor. He received the Kershaw Prize, Mahalanobis Prize, and IZA Prize (with David Card), and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Society of Labor Economists, Econometric Society and American Academy of Political and Social Science. He is a member of the Executive and Supervisory Committee (ESC) of CERGE-EI, an academic institution located in Prague, Czech Republic.[13]

Krueger received his Bachelor's degree from Cornell University's School of Industrial & Labor Relations (with honors), and in 1987 he received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. He has also published many books on issues related to education, labor markets and income distribution. He is also known for his work on the Environmental Kuznets Curve. Between 2000 and 2006 he wrote for the New York Times Economic Scene column.[14]

Personal life

He is married to Lisa Simon and has two children, Benjamin and Sydney.[15]



  1. Obama nominates 3 to key Treasury posts
  2. Schelling, Ameena (October 16, 2010). "Krueger will depart Treasury to retain tenure". The Daily Princetonian. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
  3. "Obama nominates Alan Krueger as his new chief economist". 29 August 2011.
  4. Obama to tap Princeton's Alan Krueger to fill key economic post
  5. 157 Congressional Record S7141 (Nov. 3, 2011).
  6. The Jewish Daily Forward: "Meet the Four Jews Shaping the U.S. Economy" By Nathan Guttman February 28, 2013
  7. Kwoh, Leslie. "Obama to tap Princeton's Alan Krueger to fill key economic post", The Star-Ledger, August 29, 2011. Accessed August 29, 2011. "Krueger, 50, a Livingston native, returned to academia a year ago after serving for two years as assistant treasury secretary for economic policy to the Obama administration."
  8. Nasar, Sylvia (August 22, 1993). "Conversations/David Card and Alan Krueger; Two Economists Catch Clinton's Eye By Bucking the Common Wisdom". The New York Times. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
  9. Schmitt, John. "Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment?" (PDF). Centre for Economic and Policy Research. Retrieved 2016-02-05. External link in |website= (help)
  10. Heckman and Krueger (2003, p. 62)
  11. Krueger, Alan B. (2007). What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism. Princeton University Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-691-13438-3.
  12. Freedman, Lawrence D. (November–December 2007). "Review: What Makes a Terrorist". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
  14. "Alan B. Krueger". New York Times.
  15. Star Tribune: "Alan Krueger" August 29, 2011

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Phil Swagel
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy
Succeeded by
Jan Eberly
Preceded by
Austan Goolsbee
Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers
Succeeded by
Jason Furman
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