Paul Krugman Masterclass Review (2024 Upd.) Worth the Cash?

Last Updated on June, 2024

I’d have given ANYTHING to unravel the complexities of economics under the guidance of a true maestro like Paul Krugman. 

The realm of economic principles can often seem daunting and enigmatic, but when it comes to learning from the very best, Krugman’s name reigns supreme. 

With his remarkable insights, groundbreaking research, and distinguished career as a Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist, Krugman has become a beacon of knowledge in the ever-evolving world of economics. 

In his MasterClass, he extends a transformative opportunity to aspiring economists, offering a chance to tap into his unrivaled brilliance and demystify the intricacies of fiscal policies, global markets, and their profound impact on our lives. 

So, allow me to be your guide as we delve into the world of economics through the lens of Paul Krugman’s MasterClass—a journey that promises to empower and inspire, equipping you with the tools to make sense of our interconnected financial landscape. 

 Overall: 4.9/5
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Program Effectiveness
Brand Reputation
  • 22 video lessons, 4 hours 45 minutes total
  • Suitable for students, professionals, and general learners
  • Includes interactive assignments and supplemental materials
  • Adjustable video speed, workbook, and access to a learner community
  • Typically offers a 30-day refund period for the subscription
Brand Information
  • MasterClass was founded in 2015 by David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen
  • Has a global reach, with students from over 100 countries
  • Offers interactive assignments and access to a community of learners
  • Based in San Francisco, California
  • All-access subscription costs $180 per year
Product Benefits
  • A clear method of instructions.
  • Effective application of graphics.
  • Effective use of analogies and stories to strengthen learning
  • The examples were taken from real life.
  • References from other economists’ works
  • Easy-to-understand explanations with real-world examples

Quick Summary

Basic goals:

  • The use of economic theory to explain something.
  • Examine previous crises for clues to solving present issues.
  • Unconventional approaches to global economic problems.
  • Recognizing and adjusting to the new realities of a dynamic economy.

Best for: Anyone without formal training in economics who is open to new complex ideas and questions.

Duration: 22 video lessons, totaling 4 hours and 45 minutes

A Little About Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman is often considered a top economist. Professor Paul Krugman has been on the faculty of several prominent universities.

In addition to contributing to the New York Times, he has written extensively on a wide range of economic concepts in books, textbooks, and academic journals.

In 2008, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his ground-breaking research on economic geography, liquidity traps, and global trade theory. 

Paul Krugman

He also received the John Bates Clark medal from the American Economic Association.

Paul Krugman is also well-known for his efforts to demystify economics and give it a human touch.

Many say his mainstream criticism is too far to the left. His self-description as a liberal conceals his conservative views.

Who is This Course for?

Paul Krugman’s Economics MasterClass is intended for a wide range of audiences, including students, professionals in the field, those interested in global concerns, and general learners.

Whether you have prior knowledge of economics or are completely new to the field, Krugman’s MasterClass provides an invaluable opportunity to learn from a renowned economist and Nobel laureate. 

Krugman makes the course accessible and fascinating for anybody interested in understanding the principles of economics and its impact on our lives by breaking down difficult economic concepts and relating them to real-world experiences. 

What Does This Masterclass Promise?

Paul Krugman Masterclass screenshot

The MasterClass will provide you with a deeper insight into the economic landscape of our global community. Even if we are well-versed in politics and such, Paul presents us with fresh perspectives.

Something to keep an eye out for in this course is the opportunity to understand economics by applying real-world scenarios. Economics and social science education also include some novel approaches.

The 22 video lessons of Paul Krugman’s MasterClass can be finished in less than 5 hours. Lessons with him can be brief, but he always manages to get to the point.

MasterClass courses are great since they come with supplemental materials like PDFs and exercises that can help you master the material on time.

Structure of the Masterclass

Every lesson in Paul Krugman’s MasterClass lasts about 11 minutes on average, and there are 22 lessons. However, the course can be viewed at 1.5x or 2x speed by using the video playback controls.

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Economics
  3. Two Fundamental Principles of Economics
  4. Major Developments in Economic Thought
  5. Understanding Macroeconomics: The Fed and IS-LM (Wonkish)
  6. How ’08 Happened
  7. The Economic Theory of Crises
  8. Economic Solutions to Crises
  9. Inequality: The Growing Gap
  10. Inequality: Our Divided Society
  11. Understanding Taxes
  12. The Economics of Technological Progress
  13. Health Care: The Problems
  14. Health Care: The Solutions
  15. Theories of Trade (Wonkish)
  16. Understanding the Hyperglobalized World
  17. China: The Disruptive Miracle
  18. Economic Geography
  19. Reading Economics
  20. Seeing the World Like an Economist
  21. Writing Economics
  22. Closing
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Paul Krugman Masterclass
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Inside Paul Krugman’s Masterclass

The lessons are divided mainly into six sections:

  • Introduction
  • The Fundamentals of Economics
  • Crisis and Inequality
  • The Economics of Healthcare
  • Trade and Global Theory
  • The Future of Economics


Paul Krugman Masterclass lesson 1 screenshot

Objectives of this section: 

  • Try to think like an economist.
  • Examine complicated problems
  • Challenge so-called “expert” views
  • Improve your ability to focus your attention on what’s most important 
  • Learn to care about the people and issues in your community genuinely.

Krugman’s introduction begins with unexpected clips from several of the most severe financial collapses of the last half-century.

He then elaborates on why he thinks it’s important for everyone to get some economics training and what you can expect to learn in this MasterClass.

Fundamentals on Economy

Paul Krugman Masterclass lesson 3 screenshot

Objectives of this section:

  • The value of looking back on prior crises for inspiration in developing solutions
  • A review of the careers of two prominent economists, Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes
  • Politics and taxation: an examination of the connection
  • How to Form a Sound Opinion Regarding Taxes
  • The process by which the Federal Reserve arrives at decisions intended to stabilize the economy
  • The constraints of the framework it employs.

In the first several sessions of Paul Krugman’s MasterClass, he explains the basics of economics and the many responsibilities of economists. 

While there may be graphs and calculations, an economist’s primary goal is to learn what factors lead to consistent human behavior. 

He talks about why he loves the topic and offers some encouragement to those just starting out in the profession. Since I knew nothing about the topic, it was as if he was talking to me directly.

Years of Economic Crisis

Paul Krugman Masterclass lesson 7 screenshot

Objectives of this section:

  • Instability at the Zero Lower Bound and the Liquidity Trap
  • The dissimilarities between fiscal and monetary economic policy
  • The Causes of the Financial Meltdown of 2008
  • What we may learn from the Great Depression’s aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse
  • Justifications for fiscal deficits in Times of Emergency
  • The rising income disparity and its repercussions on society, culture, politics, and the economy

In this section, he thoroughly explains the crisis, using pictures and illustrations to back up his claims. He then elaborates on the liquidity trap and the differences between monetary and fiscal policies. 

He explains why the Fed’s standard monetary policy won’t work during a severe economic downturn. He cites the 1998 failure in Japan and the 2008 financial crisis.

After discussing the measures, he concludes the lecture by discussing the social, economic, and political costs.

There were times when I thought Paul Krugman assumed his pupils knew the material when, in fact, most of us knew nothing beyond the most fundamental concepts. 

He underlines that economics is limited to studying only two aspects of human life: how individuals earn and spend money. Economists can then use this information to forecast behavior and develop theories based on that prediction.

Then, Paul Krugman gives us two rules of thumb that guide his economic thinking and illuminate the workings of economies:

  • Incentives and chances motivate people to act.
  • Every purchase has an equal and opposite sale in a market economy.

He describes how these two guidelines can be used as a standard against which any economic “story” can be evaluated. And to clarify his point, he gives more examples.

Healthcare With Economics

Paul Krugman Masterclass lesson 13 screenshot

Objectives of this section: 

  • The fundamental vulnerabilities of the affordable healthcare market
  • Why Medical Care Would Always Cost More In Tough Economic Times
  • Why does the United States have a lower life expectancy than other economically developed countries while spending much more per capita on healthcare?

The quality of American healthcare is a drag on the country’s economy. Paul Krugman discusses the importance of healthcare to the US economy and the positive results it has produced. 

Paul Krugman argues that the well-being of the American people and the nation’s economy are inextricably linked.

To find a workable solution to the healthcare crisis, Paul Krugman compares and contrasts the various government-regulated healthcare systems in various countries. The private healthcare market drives up prices and is a leading economic indicator of collapse. 

He suggests learning from how other countries’ economies and governments deal with similar issues to the United States. 

Although the healthcare system is “a mess,” this part concludes by examining the obstacles that prevent its improvement.

Trade and Global Theory

Paul Krugman Masterclass lesson 15 screenshot

Objectives of this section:

  • Having an awareness of Comparative Advantage
  • Researching David Ricardo’s free-trade theory
  • Digging into the scale economy and His New Trade Theory
  • Figuring out how global commerce contributes to the winners and losers in the income distribution

Here, you’ll learn the nuts and bolts of the US-China trade relationship. The effects of international trade on economies and national pride are the primary discussion topics.

He also illustrates how the growth of one nation’s economy can affect commerce on a worldwide scale.

Paul Krugman provides background here by discussing the evolution of international commerce. He wants you to know that the tale of globalization is not one of unstoppable expansion. It’s a tale full of peaks and valleys, transitional periods, and varied impetuses.

In addition, Paul introduces economic geography, which I found particularly puzzling at first. The provided example helped me understand the concept, but I needed to see it again to get it. 

Paul Krugman argues that, like international trade, technological progress inevitably results in the emergence of both winners and losers. However, they are more worried about international trade because of the nationalistic tensions that arise when it crosses borders.

This sets up the next lesson. Paul Krugman discusses China’s dramatic economic growth and its implications for international commerce and economic theory.

He explains who the actual losers are in China-US trade ties and why we shouldn’t worry about trade deficits with China. Not the blue-collar workers who are often cited as victims of China’s economic rise through trade, either.

At this point, this shifts gears to discuss the other area of Krugman’s expertise—economic geography. In Krugman’s view, this is a much bigger issue for dissatisfied blue-collar workers in the United States than globalization. 

In addition, he explains why. There are a few points in the lecture when, if you have no background in economics, you may want to halt and take notes.

The Future of Economics

Paul Krugman Masterclass lesson 20 screenshot

Objectives of this section:

  • Examine economics with a critical eye.
  • Discover reliable examples and information for analysis.
  • Also, question the biases and preconceptions you hold.
  • Use caution while deciding where to get your facts from.
  • Don’t make empty claims; instead, pinpoint convincing evidence.
  • Apply Krugman’s methods to verify his claims.
  • Avoid authors who refuse to own up to their mistakes.
  • Learn from Krugman’s economic writing style and make your compelling arguments.

Paul wraps up the entire course by showing his pupils how lessons from past crises may be applied to the challenges we confront here and now.

Throughout his MasterClass, Paul Krugman is adamant about disproving the widespread fallacies and misconceptions about economics. 

They persist because they are deeply embedded in people’s beliefs or serve the interests of the wealthy and powerful.

The last part is dedicated to helping you make sense of economic data, which makes sense given the context. The educator provides techniques he has developed to ensure precise numerical details in economics. 

Statistics are useful for approximating data, but they are not infallible. Paul Krugman then continues the conversation about how technological progress has impacted the economy.

How Much Does Paul Krugman’s MasterClass Cost?

As you may already know, MasterClass is subscription-based, but what you may not know is that there are three subscription options to choose from; Individual Plan, Duo Plan, and Family Plan. 

The Individual membership (The Standard Plan): is $180 per year ($15 per month). This is great for individuals who seek lessons from the comfort of their homes. 

The Duo membership: is $240 per year ($20 per month). This plan can be used by two individuals who can even watch their video lessons from multiple devices. 

The Family membership: is $276 per year ($23 per month). This plan too, has the facility of multiple device usage for multiple users. 

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Refund Policy of Paul Krugman’s MasterClass

MasterClass typically gives you 30 days to ask for a cashback. This means if you’re not happy with the MasterClass, you can get your money back within the first 30 days of your purchase.

There are some requirements in order to qualify for a refund:

  1. The number of days you waited to apply for a refund.
  2. Whether you purchased it from a 3rd party.
  3. Whether you have violated the terms of service.

Things I Learned From the MasterClass

Paul Krugman Masterclass video screenshot
  • A great deal of psychology is used in economics: You can’t know what someone will do, but you can have a good idea of their likely behavior. The ability to anticipate responses could be useful for forecasting the actions of entire populations.
  • The field of economics has its advantages and disadvantages: PaulKrugman says, 

“Economics is sometimes called the Dismal Science since so much of it focuses on what you cannot achieve.” 

But there are also aha! Moments that explain the world’s peculiarities.

  • The dynamics of a crisis tend to repeat themselves: A sudden lack of faith in financial institutions was the root cause of both the 1929 and 2008 financial crises.

The next crisis may have a different veneer, but understanding the root cause of the last one might help provide light on its potential development.

  • The policy is very important: Government policy can have a significant impact on the economy. The Federal Reserve may seem to be shouting into the void at times. Still, it has powerful tools at its disposal.

Most importantly, I learned what globalization is and why trade deficits aren’t always bad for developed countries from Paul Krugman.

I also better understood the Federal Reserve and its role in our economy, the causes of and solutions to recessions, the effectiveness but triviality of tax cuts (low tax rates are not crucial for economic growth, history shows), and much more.

The widespread belief that automation will harm jobs is one he examines in detail. And he details why the economy makes this a “bad story.”

To demonstrate his point, he tells the story of the robotic hot dog. Later, he discusses the economy’s transformation and the significant impact it can have.

Other MasterClass reviews:

My Experience in Paul Krugman’s MasterClass

When I took Paul Krugman’s MasterClass, I found that it was an excellent way to learn economics. I liked how Krugman can explain complicated economic ideas in ways that are easy to understand.

His teaching style is clear and exciting, and he uses real-world examples and case studies to make the subject matter easier to understand and relate to. 

This also gave me the chance to learn from a Nobel Prize winner because it gave me a unique view of the field.

Krugman has a lot of information and experience, which helped me learn more about economic theories, how they affect policy, and global economic trends. 

Paul Krugman Masterclass video screenshot

It’s important to remember that my experience totally differs from other people’s learning styles and goals.

But if you are interested in economics and want to learn from a well-known economist like Paul Krugman, his MasterClass could be a great way to learn more about the subject. 

However, this MasterClass lacks a glossary and a clear organizational framework.As I watch the video lectures, I prefer to print off the workbook and make notes in it.

It was challenging because the workbook did not reflect the logical progression of the video lessons, and important components were left out.

This begs the issue, which comes first, the lecture or the homework?

A glossary of words would have been useful, but it was also missing. However, it is useful as a reference after finishing the course.

I also experienced favoritism of the American economy and a leftist worldview.Even while other countries’ economies are discussed, Krugman points mostly to the United States. Remember this if you’re taking the course from outside the US.

Since the financial crisis of 2008, Krugman’s economic theories have been met with praise and criticism.

Some people say he leans too far to the left, while others say he doesn’t go far enough. In the following part, titled “What others have said,” I analyze the background of this situation.

From where I sit, his perspectives encompass both extremes. However, I can see how some of his ideas could be problematic for conservatives to the right of center and dedicated libertarians.

Student Reviews of Paul Krugman’s Masterclass

There were some reviews from Reddit to consider if Paul Krugman’s MasterClass is actually worth it. 

Paul Krugman Masterclass Customer testimonial 1

Both of the above users mentioned that Paul Krugman’s MasterClass is informative and an excellent way to learn about economists the right way. 

Paul Krugman Masterclass Customer testimonial 2

The above student also says that this class gives a solid foundation for those who want to learn economics and reach its depths. The MasterClass explains everything in detail and in an easy-to-understand way, he says. 

Are There Any Alternatives?

Classes taught by Bob Iger, Howard Schultz, Chris Voss, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Daniel Pink are just a handful of the many available in the business category on MasterClass.

Is the Paul Krugman Masterclass Worth it?

If you’re interested in economics, Paul Krugman’s knowledge and ideas could be a good way to learn.

Think about whether the course’s topics are related to your interest and whether you’d benefit from hearing straight from a well-known economist like Krugman.

If you also like to learn through online videos and like learning at your own pace, this MasterClass could be a good option for you.

Paul Krugman MasterClass Pros and Cons


A clear method of instructions.
Effective application of graphics.
Excellent data and knowledge sources.
Effective use of analogies and stories to strengthen learning
The examples were taken from real life.
Real and useful information.
References from other economists’ works


The workbook lacked a glossary section.
A preference for only a few instances.
Liberal in economic outlook but favors the US economy
Those with a firm grasp of economics might not benefit as much from this.
More time is spent discussing Paul Krugman’s ideas than conducting in-depth economics analysis.

If you want to learn more about MasterClass E-learning platform, read my review.

Paul Krugman MasterClass Review: Final Verdict

The Paul Krugman Masterclass is a great way to learn more about economics from one of the best in the field.

I think Paul Krugman’s MasterClass in Economics is a must-watch for everyone interested in the world and wants to understand how it functions. Despite the volume of material covered, I was never left confused or overwhelmed.

This Masterclass is an excellent learning tool that can help you gain a deeper grasp of economic concepts and theories thanks to its thorough treatment of a wide range of relevant topics, interesting lectures, and insightful case studies.

This Masterclass is valuable for anybody, from budding economists interested in the basics to business professionals curious about the latest economic developments.

If you want to learn economics straightforwardly, I highly recommend Paul Krugman’s MasterClass because of the excellent instructor-led instruction, instructive examples, and mind-blowing animations used throughout.


Paul Krugman’s Masterclass consists of 22 videos organized into six sections which are four hours and forty-five minutes long. It also includes a supplementary workbook of 79 pages.

No, you cannot get the Paul Krugman Masterclass for free. However, you can purchase a gift card and buy it for someone else.

Overall, MasterClass is generally seen positively by students who appreciate the convenience of learning at their own pace from teachers they already know.

Paul Krugman Masterclass
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Overall Score


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A clear method of instructions.
Excellent data and knowledge sources.
Effective use of analogies and stories to strengthen learning
The examples were taken from real life.
References from other economists’ works
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The workbook lacked a glossary section.
A preference for only a few instances.

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Carlos Eduardo
Carlos Eduardo
Hey there, I’m Carlos Eduardo, the Founder and Author of Scorebeyond. Delving deep into 20+ years of education transformation through innovative e-learning, I’ve poured my expertise into this platform. My enduring legacy continues to drive the path towards a future empowered by knowledge!

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