Business, Politics & Society


Paul Krugman

Lesson time 3:45 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.

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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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.

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.


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

Great class to learn some economics. Would have liked if classes can be more audience targeted i.e For Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced

Great primer to learn the economics way of thinking.

I learned that I need to more thoroughly exam claims made by pundits and that I need to avoid quickly espousing theories that seem to align closely with my previously conceived opinions. I felt the course went into too much detail about some lower level issues and went rather quickly over more complicated economic theory. I wish these had been reversed. I enjoyed the course. Thank you.

I really appreciated the critical thinking component that was taught.


A fellow student

the theory of economics does not furnish a body of settled conclusions immediately applicable to policy. It is a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind , a technique of thinking which helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions. Keynes Says it all The intro sets us off well - it deals with how to think about making choices and gives techniques of thinking: Sunk Costs, Opportunity Costs.

A fellow student

An interesting introduction. Makes you want to finish the course. One minor comment. The assumption that there is such a thing as a "Citizen of the world", is not only presumptuous, but also utopian. I have lived in 9 cities, in 7 Countries, and never found one real "Citizen of the world"...

Kenneth F.

This is an excellent, inviting introduction to the course. The reasons why I want to take this course are the same ones that Dr. Krugman identified.


It'd be so good if these lessons could be downloaded so I could watch them on the plane.

David P.

I appreciate the emphasis on personal responsibility. This is true education.

joe S.

This is not a course neither a class! I watched the whole course, it like a 10 minutes economy basics you can find on your tube. I'm disappointed on you MasterClass, since you proved is not a class, and way behind the word "master". That $180 i paid for a one year subscription could be spent on better platforms.

Tammi L.

This intro was perfect, it made me want to care and be more informed so I can be satisfied! Thank you for sharing

Richard W.

I teach consumer math, investment math and personal finance at an adult ed program and was asked to teach acourse in political economy and current events. I will use this course as a foundation for the political economy course. Looking forward to it!

Robert K.

My motivation to take this class is to try to understand how the ultra-liberal neo-keynesian academics rationalize about their policies that will ultimately bring down our western civilization. Please study proper economic thinking:

Ekin Ö.

I am a software developer but have a massive interest in economics. It was interesting for me to see that I think like an economist (based on Richard Nisbett's article) because the sunk cost fallacy is a very known term to me. I learned this from a business book I read years ago and applied it both in my career and personal life. Seeing the article in the introduction made me even more interested in this course. Yay! :-)