Business, Community & Government


Paul Krugman

Lesson time 03:52 min

Meet your new instructor: Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman. Paul will cover many of the issues you see in the headlines everyday—and provide tools to help you make sense of it all.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Introduction


We live in strange times. I first got into economics back around the early 1970s. We were having the first oil crisis and the first major outbreak of inflation. I remember thinking, boy, things are crazy now. They're never gonna be this crazy again. And actually, they just kept on getting crazier. [INTERPOSING VOICES] - We're tracking markets now trading at lows that we haven't seen for years. - Protesters camped out near Wall Street, demonstrating against what they call corporate greed. - President Obama today declared his signature healthcare program, widely known as Obamacare, is here to stay. - Donald Trump's long threatened tariffs against China went into effect. - Finds us more divided than ever. - No no, hold on a second. Let me-- [INTERPOSING VOICES] PAUL KRUGMAN (VOICEOVER): There's an awful lot of nonsense in economics. Some of it's said with great passion and authority. But learning how to sort through and figure out what parts are fake and what parts aren't is the most important thing. We are at a time when fake news has itself become fake news. So it's never been more important to educate yourself, because the kind of understanding that's going to get us through all of this is going to have to come from you. You have to figure this out for yourself and maybe someone like me can provide a little bit of guidance. I'm Paul Krugman. And this is my MasterClass. What you're going to learn here is how to think like an economist, what it means to not just parrot some slogans or-- or the market's up or the market's down, but actually how people who've taken this stuff seriously, who work at it, who try to-- to get at the truth, how they actually approach it. I hope I can give you some sense of that and give you some tools, some-- some basic concepts, not gonna give you all of the stuff that's in a thousand-page economics textbook. You're not here for that. And you're-- you're here for what does-- what do you try to be an enlightened citizen of the world need to know? What can you do as a way to make sense of the headlines in your paper or even just the things you see as you drive down the road? Some of you might end up becoming economists. Some of you will end up going into business, where you get to apply, maybe, some of what's here. But mostly, I think we all are better citizens, more satisfied people if we understand something about the world we live in. And it's-- economics is just such a big part. I'd like you to come out as a-- as a-- a critical thinker, someone who's informed enough to be able to make decisions about what is-- what really is-- is worth listening to. And maybe it'll even help you make a few life decisions. Although, you know, a self-help guide, I'm not. But if you've made it through to-- to this point, thank you. You've-- you've fulfilled what is really my biggest wish in life, which is to have other people care.

About the Instructor

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.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Paul Krugman

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman teaches you the economic theories that drive history, policy, and help explain the world around you.

Explore the Class
Sign Up