Paul Krugman MasterClass Review: Is It Worth It?

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In this Paul Krugman MasterClass review, we’ll find out whether taking this course is worth your time and money.

Call me nerdy, but I love mathematics and economics.

Fortunately, I even got a chance to learn these subjects in my college.

However, when I learned about Paul Krugman’s MasterClass on Economics, I couldn’t resist enrolling in this course.

Because for me, experience and knowledge both matter a lot!

I already had basic economic knowledge and interest in economics; this time, I wanted to learn it from an economist.

But I don’t recommend Paul Krugman’s MasterClass if you are not even 1% interested in economics.

Here’s why:

There are a lot of economics concepts taught in this course, and it might feel boring if you don’t have an interest.

And even if you are slightly interested in learning economics but have zero prior experience or knowledge, this course is for you!

However, I’ll share my experience with the course and dive deep into the complete breakdown of Paul Krugman’s MasterClass to know if this course is worth taking in 2023.

So, let’s begin, shall we?

Paul Krugman MasterClass Quick Summary

In a hurry? Here’s a quick summary of Paul Krugman’s MasterClass:

What you’ll learn: Learn about economics and society, how economics work, how to use economic principles to analyze events and issues, and much more.

Course duration: 3 hours 56 minutes divided into 22 video lessons.

Best pairs with: Neil deGrasse Tyson Teaches Scientific Thinking and Communication, Doris Kearns Goodwin Teaches U.S. Presidential History and Leadership, David Axelrod And Karl Rove Teaches Campaign Strategy And Messaging.

Recommendation: 100% recommended to someone interested and curious about economics and the behind-the-scene working of it at a large scale. After the lesson, you’ll understand the economy better and your role within it.

About MasterClass

(Skip this section if you are not striking through ‘MasterClass’ for the first time or already have been through my hands-on MasterClass experience.)

Learn from the “world’s best.”

This is what the MasterClass website says.

It is pretty straightforward that MasterClass is an online learning platform.

It is no different than what Skillshare, Udemy, or EdX do ultimately – to teach you something.

However, at MasterClass, you learn from celebrity instructors or someone who has already achieved ‘big’ in life.

Therefore, you learn from them or ‘the best’ people in your desired niche.

MasterClass has 180+ courses on its platform, from business, economics, home & lifestyle, society, arts, entertainment, music, sports, gardening, and many more categories.

The best part?

MasterClass consistently brings new courses on its platform. Initially, when MasterClass was launched, it had only a few courses; now, there are 180+.  

About Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman is one of the world’s most popular economists.

He has won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2008 for the New Trade Theory.

Apart from this, Paul Krugman is also a public figure.

He has been the author or editor of 27 books and 200+ papers, making himself the second most cited economist in college syllabi.

Apart from this, Paul Krugman has also been a professor at MIT, Princeton, the London School of Economics, and New York University (currently).

He has also been a columnist for the New York Times.

Paul Krugman has also received the John Bates Clark medal from the American Economic Association for their fantastic work in economics.

Moreover, Paul Krugman has even appeared in famous television shows like The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Late Show With David Letterman, Late Night With Seth Meyers, and many more.

However, one of the main reasons I went into this MasterClass is Paul Krugman’s experience as an economist.

I had high expectations because I’ve already studied some basics of economics, and I wanted to explore the topics from Paul Krugman’s POV.

Therefore, before I break down whether or not the MasterClass lives up to my expectations, let’s unfold how much this course costs.

How Much Does Paul Krugman MasterClass Cost?

Paul Krugman MasterClass comes with the annual membership of MasterClass.

That means you don’t have to pay for each course on the platform.

Instead, you must get a single membership and unlimited access to 180+ courses on the platform.

Currently, three-tier plans are available on MasterClass to opt for.

These are:

  1. Individual Plan
  2. Duo Plan
  3. Family Plan

You can check out my MasterClass cost guide, where I have discussed these plans and who should opt for which one.

For now, let’s get a quick overview of these plans.

Individual Plan

Formerly known as the Standard MasterClass plan, the Individual plan of MasterClass costs $180 per year.

And with that price, you get:

  • Unlimited access to 180+ premium courses
  • Access to newly launched courses on MasterClass
  • Access to the workbook and additional supplemental material with each course

That means if you complete at least one course every month, the average cost becomes $15 per month for MasterClass Individual membership.

It is best for individual learners who want access to MasterClass on one device at a time.

Even I, too, have this membership only.

Duo Plan

The next MasterClass membership plan is the duo plan.

As the name suggests, it is best for learners who want to get MasterClass access on two devices simultaneously under one account.

The MasterClass Duo plan costs $240 per year with an average of $20 per month.

It brings all the benefits of the Individual MasterClass plan and the feature to download course videos for offline watching.

Family Plan

The most premium plan on MasterClass is the Family plan.

It costs $276 per year.

That means, on average, it costs $23 monthly.

However, with the Family plan, you can access MasterClass on up to six devices simultaneously under one account.

It is best for those who want to get MasterClass access in bulk (up to six devices).

So, these plans are available if you want access to Paul Krugman’s MasterClass and other 180+ premium courses.

You can check out more about the MasterClass cost plan here.

Complete Breakdown of Paul Krugman MasterClass

Now that you have a sneak peek into this MasterClass and how much it costs, let’s finally break it down completely.

What Does Paul Krugman Masterclass Promise?

“What you’re going to learn here is how to think like an economist.” Says Paul Krugman in his MasterClass trailer.

However, there’s more than that when you enroll for this course.

The economics is quite complex for a newbie.

It is essential to understand it because economics is the force that drives society and what we do in our day-to-day lives.

Krugman says, “You have to figure this out for yourself, and maybe someone like me can provide some guidance.”

Hence, it becomes very clear from the start that this MasterClass course will become one of the essential lessons if you want to understand economics.

So, did Paul Krugman MasterClass live up to its promises? Did it deliver what it claimed?

We’ll know it in the upcoming sections. But first, let’s understand what this MasterClass course has for you.

What Do You Get In The Paul Krugman’s MasterClass?

When you enroll yourself in the course, the whole course can be divided into three sections.

  1. Video Lessons
  2. Downloadable Workbook
  3. Community or The MasterClass Hub

I’ll break down each section in the further section, but here’s a quick overview of the class structure.

About The Structure Of The Class

3 hours 56 minutes
4.5 out of 5 ⭐
Video Lessons:
22 video lessons
Supplemental Materials:
Downloadable workbook

The runtime for the course is nearly 4 hours, which is decently long.

I found the course length neither too short nor too stretched.

The best part about this and other MasterClass courses is that the average runtime for each video lesson is around 10 to 15 minutes long (30 minutes max).

That means you can learn daily by dedicating just 15 to 20 minutes.

I have also said in my hands-on MasterClass review that it is one of the best features of MasterClass.

Those with busy schedules and who don’t get much time for learning on weekdays can complete at least one lesson a day by giving just 15 minutes.

However, the course follows a dedicated structured curriculum, which is shown below:

Paul Krugman MasterClass Course Curriculum

  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 Crisis
  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

Once you start learning, you’ll follow the plan for the lesson mentioned above.

Paul Krugman MasterClass Course Summary

At first glance, it may seem that there will be a lot of math and charts that you might have to memorize in the course.

But fortunately, it isn’t that much.

Instead, Paul Krugman starts the course with a foundational understanding of economics.

He starts by explaining what economics is and what role it plays.

There are charts and math in the course, but you’ll understand them easily. Thanks to Paul Krugman’s way of teaching!

Even at the beginning of the course, Krugman takes you through the two primary principles of Economics.

  1. People respond to incentives
  2. Every economic transaction has an equal give-and-take

Later on, Krugman explains how economic thought began in the seventeen-hundreds.

It was the starting point when society started to evolve.

People started moving to the cities, and new technologies were merged.

And innovation became the norm, not the exception.

That is why Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes, early economic thinkers, are still cited.

Once you have gained a basic understanding of economics and a brief history of it, Paul Krugman will turn you towards the bigger ideas.

The lesson unfolds macroeconomics concepts, understanding of the Federal Reserve, and how ’08 happened.

There on, the lesson also touches on the crises that we face even today, such as:

  • Tax cuts
  • Automation
  • Health care
  • Global trade
  • Income inequality

And finally, Krugman shares his insights on reading, understanding, and thinking about economics on your own.

Then, finally, the course completes with the closing session.

Overall, the ideas and concepts shared in the course give you a detailed picture of how economics works.

Therefore, it becomes one of the most important courses for someone new to economics who wants to learn how things work.

The course was also intimidating at some points (when Krugman talks about taxes).

However, pausing the video and rewinding the lesson once or twice can work to make you understand things (tried and tested method).

Detailed Breakdown Of Paul Krugman Teaches Economics And Society MasterClass

Now, you have been through the course halfway.

It is time to dive deeper into each section of the course and find out what it feels like when you are learning it.

Paul Krugman MasterClass Video Lessons Experience

I have divided my experience with the video lessons into three sections:

  1. Starting
  2. Middle
  3. Ending

And at the end, I’ve even talked about my overall experience and how much I’ll rate the video lessons in the course.

So, here we go.

  1. Starting Of The Course

The lesson begins with a bang.

You see dramatic footage of some of the major economic and financial crises of the last five decades, followed by a quick intro to Paul Krugman.

Firstly, Paul brings up why everyone should have a grounding in economics.

Then, he shares what you can expect from this course.

After that, from lesson 2 to lesson 6, Krugman takes you through the fundamentals of economics.

Krugman shares his perspective on economics and also takes you through the working of people.

He talks about people’s behavior of earning and spending.

And how it enables economists to identify key motivations that they can use to predict behavior and present theories on it.

Then, he talks about the two main fundamental rules:

  • People respond to incentives
  • Two sides of economics – every sale is also a purchase

The best part is that Krugman also shares some examples to reinforce what he shared with you.

That gives better clarity on the concept and makes things easier.

These video lessons give a good understanding of what the upcoming lessons hold for you as Krugman builds the foundations of economics in parallel.

2. Middle Section

From lesson 7 onwards, you’ll be exposed to more vast concepts, charts, and graphs.

But don’t worry, Krugman does it beautifully so you can understand things fully.

In this section, Krugman begins with how the Fed’s usual monetary policy doesn’t suit in times of severe recession.

To explain it more simply, he shares the examples of Japan’s 1998 crash and 2008 financial crisis.

One of the key things I would love to highlight is how Krugman explains the 2008 crisis beautifully.

These sections provide full explanations, helpful examples, and supportive graphics on the screen.

These sections provide full explanations, helpful examples, and supportive graphics on the screen.

In short, you learn these things in this section:

  • The difference between monetary and fiscal policy
  • The Zero Lower Bound and the Liquidity Trap
  • Why 2008’s crisis happened
  • How the 1929’s great recession time informed the response to the 2008 crisis
  • The social, political, cultural, and economic costs of the growing income gap
  • Why deficit spending in times of crisis can be a good thing

There, the lesson talks about the economics of healthcare.

And how eight of the ten fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. are related to healthcare.

Here, Krugman shares some of the most important factors, like how the private healthcare insurance market is structurally prone to failure and inevitably makes healthcare more expensive.

Moreover, Krugman even talks about the solutions and examines several countries’ different government-regulated healthcare systems.

He shares the strengths and weaknesses of each as well.

Finally, the middle section ends with the Trade and Global Theory of Paul Krugman.

He gives you context about the section, reviews the history of global and international trade here, and then takes you through his perspective.

I liked how Krugman discusses the impact of global trade on the world and makes you understand the economic ideas from the lesson.

Ending Section

From lesson 18 onwards, the lessons revolve around economics’s future, how a newbie should take economics, and how to understand it.

In this section, Krugman mostly talks about how you can understand and interpret economic information.

He shares how you can be selective for the sources of information, avoid bald assertions, and identify sound arguments.

The best part?

Krugman even talks about his strategy to check for accuracy and shares how to avoid writers who don’t admit their mistakes.

The lesson even makes you understand how Krugman’s approach to writing can help for a persuasive and engaging economic copy.

Finally, Krugman shares his tips before he completes the course.

He shares tips on:

  • Thinking critically about economics
  • Find valid experiences and data to analyze
  • Challenging your assumptions and biases

Most importantly, Krugman wants you to become more aware, informed, and active citizens to be more curious about economics.

Paul Krugman MasterClass Workbook Experience

Paul Krugman’s MasterClass has a hefty 79-page long workbook, which you can download and refer to for more info than the video lessons.

Even though the workbook might feel overwhelming at first, I found the right amount for the content in the video section.

The workbook consists of:

  • Summaries and concepts from the video lessons
  • Other sources of information

Overall, I liked the workbook content. It is not only long paragraphs.

Instead, the whole workbook is divided into six sections, which you can refer to accordingly.

After that, proper summaries and illustrations of some topics are explained to understand the concepts better.

The additional resources for reading further work are a cherry on the top.

Paul Krugman MasterClass Community Section Experience

With every MasterClass course, you get a workbook and a community space.

And with Paul Krugman MasterClass as well, you get both of these.

Here in this space, students interact with each other, share feedback, ask questions, and gain further insights into what they are learning.

However, the forum is moderated by the MasterClass team and not by Paul Krugman himself.

But if you ask any questions, the MasterClass team replies to help you with your doubts.

Does Paul Krugman MasterClass Keep Its Promises?

We have been through video lessons, the workbook section, the community section, and the whole course.

But the ultimate question is, did this MasterClass keep its promise?

Well, as mentioned in the beginning, this MasterClass lives up to its promises.

This course promises you will think like an economist, understand economics, and understand why crises have happened in the past.

By the end of the course, Paul Krugman will help you understand and get through all of these.

For a curious newbie like me, I also took away multiple learnings, and it exceeded my expectations as well.

So, all in all, the course delivered what it promised.  

Is Paul Krugman MasterClass Worth It?

Yes, 100%.

Paul Krugman Teaches Economics And Society MasterClass is worth it for someone curious about economics and how it works in our society.

Even for a complete newbie or experienced, this course highlights Krugman’s experience and how, as an economist, he thinks about certain things.

Ultimately, Paul Krugman will make you aware of the foundational concepts and a broader perspective on economics worldwide by the end.

Even he touches on some of the most important aspects (like healthcare economics).

And therefore, I found this course 100% worth my time and money!

Pros And Cons Of Paul Krugman MasterClass


  • Learn from one of the world’s most influential economists
  • Good use of analogy and storytelling
  • Supportive graphical representation
  • Detailed curriculum
  • Workbook for additional references
  • Very educational for newbies
  • Regular examples are used for explanation


  • The workbook doesn’t provide a glossary of terms
  • Biased towards the U.S. economy

Key Things I Learned: 5 Key Takeaways

The overall course is filled with tons of learning.

However, here are my favorite ones.

  1. I learned helpful tips for economic principles and how analyzing the old crisis can help solve new problems in such a manner that I understand them easily.
  2. Pay attention only to what is necessary and limit your source of information to the accurate one while avoiding inaccurate sources.
  3. Productivity is the country’s true source of wealth. And Adam Smith was the first to realize that a country’s wealth doesn’t come from gold and silver. Instead, it’s the ability to produce things.
  4. As interest rates decrease and people borrow more, the higher GDP increases.
  5. The healthcare market differs from those for cars or wheat because of asymmetric information.

Things I Liked About The Paul Krugman Masterclass

Honestly, the overall course is very much educational and informative. So, for the content, I really appreciate the MasterClass team.

And also, it is one of my favorite courses of all time.

One of the best parts about this course is that it quickly takes you through different concepts.

And Krugman tries his best with examples to settle the new information easily.

Even though the concepts were sometimes confusing, I rewind the video every time until I didn’t understand it.

The supplemental workbook provided in the course is cherry on top.

I preferred the workbook and video lessons over time for better understanding and detailed reference to what Krugman wanted to teach.

So, the experience of learning with the video lessons, combined with a workbook, is immensely fantastic!

Is There Something To Be Improved In Paul Krugman’s Masterclass?

I have to be very picky for this section as there is not much about things I didn’t like about this course.

However, still, there are some improvements that I found.

For example, the workbook doesn’t contain a glossary of terms, and you can feel slightly biased towards the U.S. economy.

FAQs About Paul Krugman’s MasterClass Course

How much does Paul Krugman’s MasterClass cost?

Paul Krugman MasterClass comes with the annual membership of MasterClass.

You must choose among Individual, Duo, or Family plans to access Paul Krugman MasterClass and other premium courses.

What will you need to take the MasterClass by Paul Krugman?

You don’t need anything to start with Paul Krugman MasterClass. Even those with no prior knowledge of economics can also take this course.

However, having prior knowledge surely helps you have an added advantage.

Can I get Paul Krugman’s MasterClass for free?

You cannot get Paul Krugman’s MasterClass for free, as it comes with an annual subscription.

However, MasterClass provides a 30-day satisfaction guarantee if you get their annual membership.


Verdict: Do I Recommend This MasterClass? If Yes, Then To Whom?

Considering everything, I found this course informative, educational, and helpful having all of the economic sciences for foundational understanding.

Therefore, I recommend this to anyone curious to understand how economics works and what is their role in it.

This course takes you through essential things from past economic crises to good things and how economics worldwide has evolved.

Hence, Paul Krugman’s MasterClass is for anyone interested in economics!

Here’s a quick trailer to the MasterClass:

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