Alan Krueger sadly passed away on Monday March 16th2019 at the age of 58. He had been Professor at Princeton University since 1992 after having obtained his PhD at Harvard.
As well as being an academic, he also served as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors to President Obama and held positions in the Department of Labor and at the US Treasury. He gave a keynote address at the 16th Journées Louis-André Gérard-Varet organized by Aix-Marseille School of Economics in Aix-en-Provence June 2017 on the theme of Policies for Independent Workers.
Much of his work was in the field of labour economics, but also extended to the economics of the music industry and the development of econometric methods. With David Card, he was author of the reference work on the analysis of the effects of minimum wages, Myth and Measurement: the New Economics of the Minimum Wage. He was author of a large number of articles in the major journals on topics including the effect of computer use on earnings, rents and industry earnings differentials, education and school quality, terrorism, racial earnings differences and long-term unemployment. He figures among the 50 highest ranked economists in the world according to the REPEC website.
For his work on ‘Rockonomics’ (the economics of the music industry) he earned the nickname the ‘Rock Professor’. He is also associated with the term ‘the Great Gatsby curve’ which relates a country’s degree of income inequality to the intergenerational persistence in inequality. His work that found that using a computer at work was associated with higher earnings was used in an advertisement by Microsoft.
He was one of the best economists of his generation and his work will continue to serve as a reference for generations to come.
Stephen Bazen (Aix-Marseille University, Aix-Marseille School of Economics)
© All photos by Franck Pourcel, June 2017, Aix-en-Provence