Alan Krueger, former chief Obama economic adviser, dies at 58

Alan Krueger, former chief Obama economic adviser, dies at 58

Alan Krueger, a Princeton University economist who advised two presidents, has died at the age of 58.

Krueger killed himself, according to a statement from his family. Police reportedly discovered his body inside his home on Saturday and he was later declared dead at a New Jersey hospital.


“It is with tremendous sadness we share that Professor Alan B. Krueger, beloved husband, father, son, brother, and Princeton professor of economics took his own life over the weekend,” the family said in its statement. “The family requests the time and space to grieve and remember him.”

The university first announced Krueger’s passing on Monday morning without stating a cause. It called him “a true leader in his field, known and admired for both his research and teaching” and whose “life exemplified a commitment to public service.”

Princeton said an announcement of a public celebration of Krueger’s life will will be made “at a future date.”

Krueger played a prominent role in former President Obama’s administration as it grappled with the Great Recession, serving as an assistant Treasury secretary and later as director of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. He left the White House in 2013.

The New Jersey native was also chief economist at the Labor Department under former President Clinton from 1994 to 1995.

In academia, Krueger was known for his expertise in the labor market and his use of empirical evidence that challenged traditional economic theories. His most well-known work was a joint study with economist David Card that concluded a minimum wage did not stunt hiring.

Obama lauded Krueger as “someone who was deeper than numbers on a screen and charts on a page.”

“He saw economic policy not as a matter of abstract theories, but as a way to make people’s lives better,” the former president said in a statement. “He believed that facts, reason, and evidence could make government more responsive, and his enthusiasm and curiosity was truly infectious.”

“Alan Krueger taught me about economic policy for more than two decades,” Jason FurmanJason FurmanIn surprise, unemployment rate falls, economy adds jobs Overnight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims The Memo: Scale of economic crisis sends shudders through nation MORE, who succeeded Krueger as Council of Economic Advisers chair, tweeted Monday morning. “His convincing empirical research on the most important questions is a lasting legacy. A devastating loss.”

-Updated 5:08 p.m.