Obama economic advisor Alan Krueger dead at 58

Alan Krueger, a top economic adviser to former US President Barack Obama

New York,  Alan Krueger, a top economic adviser to former US President Barack Obama and one of Americas most influential labour market experts, has died aged 58.

The cause of his death on March 16 was suicide, his family said in a statement on Monday released by Princeton University, where he taught since 1987, CNN reported.

Obama too issued a statement lauding Krueger’s contribution 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.”

“He believed that facts, reason, and evidence could make government more responsive, and his enthusiasm and curiosity was truly infectious,” he said.

Krueger had earlier also served as chief economist at the Department of Labour under President Bill Clinton. He was the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2011 to 2013 under Obama.

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, CNN said.

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.