Alan Krueger, Chief Economic Adviser for Obama and Clinton Administrations, Commits Suicide at 58

Former White House economist and Princeton University professor Alan Krueger died over the weekend, the school announced Monday. He was 58.

Krueger served as chief economist at the Department of Labor under President Bill Clinton and chair of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2011 to 2013 under former President Barack Obama, who issued a statement Monday afternoon lauding Krueger’s contributions to the recovery from the great recession.

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

The husband and father of two took his own life, according to a statement from the family released Monday afternoon.

In addition to his role in public policy, Krueger also made a number of contributions to the field of labor economics.

Krueger’s most famous work included a paper co-authored with the economist David Card in 1993 that challenged orthodoxy around the effects of the minimum wage. Through a natural experiment comparing employment in fast food restaurants across state lines after New Jersey raised its minimum wage, the pair found that the number of jobs did not decrease, as classical economics would have assumed.

The study and subsequent book, “Myth and Measurement,” helped advance a movement toward the use of empirical measurement in economics, rather than relying heavily on theory to predict the impact of policy measures.

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SOURCE: CNN, Lydia DePillis