Economist Spotlight: Interview with Alan B. Krueger, Part Eight

POSTED: March 3, 2014 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: ,

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This is the eighth in an eight-part series of CEE’s Economist Spotlight with Dr. Alan B. Krueger.

Dr. Krueger, the Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at the Wilson School at Princeton University and former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, is the author of the newly published textbook, Explorations in Economics. In this spotlight series, Alan will address topical issues including unemployment benefits, increased job growth, minimum wage legislation, investment in human capital, and more.

The interviews were conducted by 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Teaching Champions Awardees, Kathleen Brennan and Saji James.

Kathleen Brennan:

Q. In what ways do you see your research on what makes a terrorist having an impact on the future of counter-terrorism policy?

Alan Krueger:

A.  While I served as President Obama’s chief economist, I tried to stay in my own lane and not venture into counter-terrorism policy. But I did share a copy of my book “What Makes a Terrorist?” with the Secretary of Homeland Security, and she wrote me back a lovely note saying that she found the analysis very useful. I think the main contribution my work has made in this area is that it encouraged a more systematic, empirical approach to studying terrorism. This has already yielded several insights, and led to an improvement in the data that the government tracks to measure and predict terrorism.

Saji James:

Q. What types of immigration reform do you propose?

Alan Krueger:

A. This is a very long subject. In short, I favor comprehensive immigration reform, that: (1) makes it easier for immigrants to legally come to the U.S. to work and gain citizenship, especially for immigrants with skills that are in high demand in the economy; (2) helps undocumented individuals move out of the shadows and gives them a pathway to eventual citizenship; and (3) adequately enforces our borders.

There is a very nice short video that the White House put together summarizing research on the economics of immigration that is worth showing to your class. It is available at:

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