The American Academy of Political and Social Science selected economist and Princeton economist Alan Krueger as the winner of the 2017 Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize.
Krueger was chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and a member of his cabinet from November 2011 to August 2013. He also served as assistant secretary for economic policy and chief economist of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in 2009–10, and as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor in 1994–95. Since 1987, he has held a joint appointment in the Economics Department and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He is the founding director of Princeton’s Survey Research Center and currently the Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Policy.
Krueger, who was inducted as an AAPSS Fellow in 2003, is a prolific researcher, writer, and columnist, and he has been a tireless exponent of rigorous investigation of the most challenging social phenomena that need to be addressed in public policy. He has informed the nation about the dynamics of income distribution, unemployment, and labor demand; he wrote a notable book on the economic roots of terrorism; and he has challenged conventional wisdom about corporate taxation and the benefits of higher education at elite universities.
Some of Krueger’s best known work is on the relationship between the minimum wage and unemployment. His more recent research, however, centers on the economics of alternative work arrangements, also known as the gig economy. His work suggests that “extending many of the legal benefits and protections found in employment relationships to independent workers would protect and extend the social compact between workers and employers, and reduce the legal uncertainty and legal costs that currently beset many independent worker relationships.”
Professor Krueger will formally accept the Moynihan Prize on Capitol Hill on May 18, where he will give a lecture that focuses on the economics of alternative work arrangements and what politicians and public policy-makers can do to support that significant and growing segment of the American workforce. The lecture is titled, “Workers in an ‘Uber’ Economy: What Role Should Public Policy Play?
“[He] is a gifted scholar, policy influential, and public servant, and a most worthy recipient of an award celebrating Moynihan’s dedication to bringing the highest quality research available to bear on policy design and implementation,” said AAPSS President Ken Prewitt of this year’s Moynihan honoree. “In these political times, the AAPSS doubles-down on Moynihan’s legacy, electing Fellows and awarding the Moynihan Prize to those whose engagement contributes in equal measure to better science and more sound policy.”
Previous Moynihan Prize recipients include Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve; Isabel Sawhill and Ron Haskins, Fellows in Economics at the Brookings Institution; Rebecca Blank, former Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison; David Ellwood, former Dean and the Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy at Harvard Kennedy School; Alice Rivlin, former director of the White House Office of Management and Budget and the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office; Robert Greenstein, founder and executive director of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities; Diane Ravitch, former assistant U.S. Secretary of Education and historian of education at New York University; William Julius Wilson, a Harvard sociologist and a recipient of the National Medal of Science; and Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize–winning economist.