Video: Honoring the inspiring work of Paul Krugman

At EPI’s 25th anniversary celebration last night, we presented an award to Paul Krugman. (You know, because he’s short on credentials and really could use some professional validation.)  Harry Hanbury produced a very candid video about him for us, and it’s well worth seeing – it’s not just a hymn of praise, it actually has a great narrative arc.

MORE: Multimedia on EPI at 25

I think the only thing I’d add that the video didn’t emphasize (because it was made for people, not economists) is just how inspiring Krugman’s work is for economists who are actually trying to make sense of the real world. Nobody else so consistently reaches back for the tools that we’re all taught in grad schools (many of which he built, it bears saying) – tools like graphs and equations and models that often seem dry and abstract – and holds them up against developments in the real world to see what they actually can and can’t explain. He runs with the things that are useful and (often pretty brutally) discards the things that aren’t. For those of us who got into the economics business to understand the world around us, his work is an inspiration.

Krugman’s acceptance speech

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  • Paul Krugman’s writing changed my life. I had hardly ever heard of him when I read The Return of Depression Economics as a sophomore undergraduate (and I fancied myself a conservative). He had me from the first chapter and has completely reshaped my political views, economic understanding, and moral compass. When lost, I find myself reloading his blog, searching for answers. He is not just a voice of a movement, he has become the voice of a movement, and of a whole crew of young people who do not buy into the conservative worldview that is often the political “be-all and end-all”of upper-middle-class American youth. In the circles I frequent, if you have the balls to question your father’s views, chances are that you will come across somebody channelling Paul Krugman. Whether or not you are convinced, of course, is up to you. But, everybody should be forced to hear PK out. If you are convinced, try convincing your father! I am working on mine, and he is coming along…

    I just launched a blog, with no advertising (I promise), that frequently cites and discusses Krugman, his papers, articles, and opinions. It is written by young people, and intends to reach the young and young-minded. If you wan’t to change the world like Dr. Krugman does, we all have to start by changing our politics, as PK knows. Check out my forum for debate @