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Honoring Renowned Economist Anne Krueger

December 18, 2018

Whether it was being the first female faculty member in the economics department here at the University of Minnesota, serving as the vice president of economics and research  at the World Bank, or becoming the first deputy managing director for the International Monetary Fund, Professor Anne Krueger has made a sizable imprint on macroeconomics and international trade policy as we know it today.

The University of Minnesota was honored to host Professor Krueger, who returned to the U to receive an honorary doctor of science degree, the University’s highest honor.

Words of Advice for Students

On November 8, scores of undergraduates gathered to listen to Krueger talk about her love for economics, give advice, and share anecdotes. Krueger’s presentation, a special event just for undergrads, covered a broad range of topics from significant incidents in her life to advice for aspiring PhD students. She encouraged students to actually learn how to apply the concepts taught in class, asserting that “good math is important but good analysis is even more important.”

She went on to give an overview of how the sphere of research has evolved over the years that she has been involved in it. She joked, “When I started out most data was in people’s drawers, and you had to find the right person at the right desk to get your hands on that data.” Her recommendation for students who hoped to pursue a PhD after graduation was to seek opportunities to work as research assistants in order to get a taste of what it’s like to be actively doing research.

Mentor and Researcher

Krueger’s warmth and earnest desire to guide current students attending the event was a small demonstration of a lifetime spent mentoring and educating students. Perhaps her commitment to her students is the reason that so many of them flew in from all over the United States and from countries as far away as Spain, Argentina, and Hong Kong to be a part of the ceremony.

Some of these students chose to come to the University of Minnesota simply because Krueger was a professor here. “Her ideas and approach to theoretical work were inspiring. We became determined to enter the PhD program ... to study international economics with Anne,” says Rosalinda Quintanilla, one of Krueger’s former students.

Anne Krueger Professorship

A little less than a year ago, Mary and Armeane Choksi, both CLA alumni who worked with Krueger at the World Bank, had an idea—to pay tribute to the profound impact that Krueger has had on their lives by establishing a fund in her name.

In the time since, her students have raised $1 million for the Anne O. Krueger Professorship in the Department of Economics that will be used to recruit and retain faculty on the forefront of the field. Her students feel this is one way they can ensure the legacy of Krueger’s intellectual rigor and unwavering support of students can carry on into the next generation of Minnesota economics students.

Talk on Trade Policy

Before she was presented with an honorary degree, Krueger took center stage to talk in more detail about the current state of US trade policy, the considerable consequences the recent trade reforms would have for the world at large, and the implications of a possible trade war with China. Krueger concluded the talk by stating that, “The unpredictability of things is a part of the economic problem now.”

During her talk, she quoted numbers and statistics with an ease that one can only have after years of research. In the question and answer session afterward, her students humorously recalled that this was an ability she had perfected very early in her career.

Krueger and Minnesota

After the talk, College of Liberal Arts Dean John Coleman presented Krueger with an honorary degree to commemorate her contributions to the field of economics. Krueger thanked the department and the University of Minnesota for being supportive and helpful for her own growth when she started her career as an assistant professor. She noted the valuable opportunities that the University provides for research and development.

Speaking of her time spent at the University of Minnesota, Krueger said, “It was just a lovely place to be and to learn.”

This story was written by an undergraduate student content creator in CLAgency. Meet the team.