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Alan Krueger, top economic adviser to President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama, has died at the age of 58.
Krueger was found dead on Saturday at his home in Princeton, New Jersey. His family said in a statement released by Princeton University, where he taught since 1987, that the cause of death was suicide.
“It is with tremendous sadness we share that Professor Alan B. Krueger, beloved husband, father, son, brother, and Princeton professor of economics, took his own life over the weekend.
“The family requests the time and space to grieve and remember him. In lieu of flowers, we encourage those wishing to honor Alan to make a contribution to the charity of their choice.”
Princeton had not provided a cause of death. The university said in its statement: “In addition to his scholarship, Alan’s life exemplified a commitment to public service. He was married with two children.
Krueger was the chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor in 1994 and 1995 under Clinton and was an assistant secretary of the Treasury from 2009 to 2010 and the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2011 to 2013 under Obama.
A distinguished labor economist, Krueger was perhaps most famous for empirical research finding that increases in the minimum wage did not cause the large job losses that were expected. That original finding led to a broader reconsideration of the minimum wage within academic economists.
Most recently, Krueger had written a book on inequality, due in June, titled “Rockonomics: A Backstage Tour of What the Music Industry Can Teach Us about Economics and Life.”
In a statement, Obama called Krueger “a fundamentally good and decent man.”
“Alan was someone who was deeper than numbers on a screen and charts on a page,” Obama said. “He saw economic policy not as a matter of abstract theories, but as a way to make people’s lives better.”
Krueger received numerous awards, including the Kershaw Prize by the Association for Public Policy and Management in 1997 for distinguished contributions to public policy analysis by someone under the age of 40.
He is survived by his wife, Lisa, and two children.