Business, Politics & Society


Paul Krugman

Lesson time 3:21 min

Paul ends his class with parting advice for aspiring activists and policy makers, or those who wish to become more informed citizens: remember to stay aware, to read, to listen, and to remain an active participant in society.

Paul Krugman
Teaches Economics and Society
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman teaches you the economic theories that drive history, policy, and help explain the world around you.
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I don't know what age you are watching this. If you're a young person, you might feel like the world looks awful. What can be better? If you're an old person, you may think, I remember when things were better. You know, there are a lot of-- there are a lot of reasons to feel bad about the way we are. But you also see plenty of cases in economics where hard thinking has paid off, where understanding has led to better stuff. We could have had another Great Depression. The fact that we didn't had a lot to do with the fact that people in some crucial positions had learned something about economics. I think the most important thing-- well, the first thing you should do anyway is stay aware, read, listen. When something puzzles you, when you hear about some story that involves economics and you say to yourself, I don't quite get what's going on here, instead of saying, it's a complicated world, I don't get it, that you will instead say, all right, let me try to figure this out. Let me see what else I need to read. Let me see if I can interpret this. Let me make sense of this. And then well, be a citizen. What I hope you've taken from this course is not a lot of facts-- although I hope some of the facts did stick with you-- and certainly not a lot of slogans, but a way of thinking, a way of looking at this big piece of our society that is about making a living, making choices, making policy choices. You can write letters to your congressperson. You can-- and certainly vote. If it's an issue you care about, you can be more activist. We need that. We're-- at least for the moment, we're still a democracy, and the most important thing to sustain that is for people to act on their-- act on their understanding. And that means that they have to try to understand in the first place. There's no guarantee that good ideas prevail. But if you don't have good ideas, if you don't try to have those good ideas, if you don't try to understand them, push them forward, get them out there, then of course they won't prevail. So keep on plugging. Don't let-- don't let the crazies grind you down. [MUSIC PLAYING] Well, this is goodbye until we meet again on Twitter, in cyberspace, on the op-ed page or wherever ideas are exchanged.

Think like an economist

For Nobel Prize-winner Paul Krugman, economics is not a set of answers—it’s a way of understanding the world. In his economics MasterClass, Paul teaches you the principles that shape political and social issues, including access to health care, the tax debate, globalization, and political polarization. Heighten your ability to read between the lines and decipher the underlying economics at play.


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this is great!. brought light on many of the things happening right now in the world but most important helped me to have a way to understand and act and make sure information we get is true and is based on data and facts

I like his style and I am now reading some economics, in my seventh decade.

Prof Krugman makes economics easy to understand and relates it to our daily lives. As he says - do not use the industry jargon but simple language to get the point across. Better understanding of how economics affects us, how to read it and be a more informed, discerning citizen.

Really really interesting and insightful, loved it!


A fellow student

Thank you Paul and everyone else that was part of creating this great class. I was questioning starting a Master's program and took this Masterclass to see if I could still fit into that world. This class gave me the inspiration to sign up for a Master's in Economics (Business Economics) and push forward into deeper learning. Learning from the best of the best is an amazing opportunity and I enjoyed the Youtube style 10-15min chunks. It allows people with limited time on their hands to pursue knowledge at their own pace. Thank You again.

Andrea A.

I was very pleased with the way this class was presented. Listening to the lessons and following them up by reading the overview helped me to retain the information. I do not have a background education in economics and society, but I was interested in taking this MasterClass because I wanted to understand some of its simple basic principles. I will continue to ask questions, to stay informed and take on a more active role in our society because the greatest lesson I've taken from Paul Krugman's instruction was that economics isn't about money; it's about people. It is our duty as productive members of society to demand change, to improve the world around us, and to put into practice theories that would implement a better standard of living for all humanity.

A fellow student

I have found all the lessons valuable and, seems to my eyes and ears, that Paul K tried to describe and explain all the lessons with care to the learner/student/listener. I did have issues with the format of the lessons. Linda H

Estuardo L.

A great class that teach me a lot and inspired me to learn more about the world

David S.

Paul, Thank you for sharing your most valuable asset, time, to explain economics. I plan on moving forward to learn more so I can have a better understanding of the World around me. Then, share that information to better inform others. Learning about how things work and lessons learned will help to shape a better World, if we advocate for those changes. Again, thank you.

Barbara W.

I am so lost in this. I don’t know what lessons I have done and what I should do next. No where do I see numbers that would indicate what the lesson is


This is one of the most engaging and enlightening Master Class series I've taken. Suprisingly, while some people in the arts give great classes here, I've turned a number of classes off from filmakers and writers who either don't know how to instruct in any kind of engaging way, or just seem to like to hear themselves talk. Mr. Krugman has both a huge storehouse of information and an amazing ability to make what is usually a dry subject come alive.

Carrie Y.

Its a privilege to hear Paul's thoughts and views, and learn from his thinking process. I am very grateful for this opportunity.

Daniel W.

Thank you for your time. This was incredibly informative for me. I’m very grateful to have gotten Paul’s perspective on many of these topics.

Jeff S.

Thank you Paul for such an informative and valuable session. I have tons of notes and more importantly, a better overall understanding of both domestic and global economic influences. Your work is greatly appreciated and well worth it.