Professor Paul R. Krugman of the Department of Economics has received the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, given biannually by the American Economic Association to the economist under 40 who has made the most important contributions to economics.
Dr. Krugman is an international economist who is best known to the public through his book, The Age of Diminished Expectations, which discusses the economic problems facing the United States in the coming decades. The book is noteworthy, economists have said, for Professor Krugman's ability to distinguish important economic problems from the daily and weekly news of less critical situations.
Professor Krugman has made seminal contributions both to the microeconomics and macroeconomics of international relations.
On the former, he has been a leader in applying recent insights in the theory of industrial organization to international trade. These new models explain how the same goods can be both exported and imported by a single country, how trade is affected by firms' market power, and why similar countries trade with each other.
On the latter, he has made many contributions to the theory of currency crises and exchange rate changes. For example, he has analyzed how a currency that has been stable historically suddenly experiences a currency flight that induces a balance-of-payments crisis and/or devaluation.
Dr. Krugman also is an advisor to many governments and other economic policy-making bodies.
He is the fifth member of the economics department to receive the Clark Medal. The first was to Paul A. Samuelson, Institute Professor Emeritus, who received the award in 1947. Professor Samuelson and another MIT recipient, Institute Professor Robert M. Solow, both subsequently received Nobel prizes.
The other two members of the department to receive the Clark Medal were Franklin M. Fisher and Jerry A. Hausman.
Professors Samuelson and Solow received the medal for contributions to economic theory; Professors Fisher and Hausman for contributions to econometrics, the art of testing hypotheses from economic data.
Professor Krugman received a BA degree from Yale University in 1974 and a PhD from MIT in 1977. He has been a member of the faculty since 1979 and a full professor since 1984.
A version of this article appeared in the March 4, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 36, Number 22).