Krueger was born on February 12, 1934, in Endicott, New York. Her father was a physician. Her uncles include the Australian politician Sir Reginald Wright and physiologist Sir Roy Wright. She received her undergraduate degree from Oberlin College and her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
As an economist, Krueger is known in macroeconomics and trade, famously coining the term rent-seeking in a 1974 article. Furthermore, she has frequently criticised the U.S. sugar subsidies. She has published extensively on policy reform in developing countries, the role of multilateral institutions in the international economy, and the political economy of trade policy. In her 1996 Presidential address to the American Economic Association, she explored the lack of congruence between successful trade and development policies enacted worldwide and prevailing academic views.
She taught at the University of Minnesota from 1959 to 1982 before serving as World Bank Chief Economist from 1982 to 1986.
After leaving the Bank, she taught at Duke University from 1987–1993, when she joined the faculty of Stanford University as Herald L. and Caroline L. Ritch Professor in Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Economics. She was also the founding Director of Stanford's Center for Research on Economic Development and Policy Reform; and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution.
She served as First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from September 1, 2001 to August 31, 2006, serving as Acting Managing Director of the Fund on a temporary basis between March 4, 2004 (resignation of Horst Köhler), and June 7, 2004 (starting date for Rodrigo de Rato's mandate). Until the appointment of Christine Lagarde in 2011, she was the only female to fill the role of IMF Managing Director.
In 2005, she was awarded the prestigious title of Honorary Patron of the University Philosophical Society, Trinity College Dublin. Beginning in the spring of 2007, she assumed the position of professor of international economics at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.
She is a Distinguished Fellow and past President of the American Economic Association, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is the recipient of a number of economic prizes and awards.
The 1950s and the 1960s brought the neoclassical argument for open trade under attack because it had ignored (as Krueger quotes it) “dynamic considerations” and they stated that open trade was “static” (p. 51). Throughout the 1990s there was a general consensus that open trade was anything but static and the benefits were largely “dynamic” (p51).
In the book, Struggling with Success: Challenges Facing the International Economy (2012), Anne Krueger takes a defensive stance on globalization and the role it has played on improving the world and the lives of the people on it as a whole. She states that, “…globalization, has preceded at a rapid pace since about 1800 and the degree of interdependence has greatly increased (p 24).” During the same time the industrial countries (whose economies were integrating) saw rapid growth in the quality of life for poor nations (p 24). Krueger’s main focus is on the causes of the Asian “Tigers” growth, the rise of government regulation after and slightly before WWII and (regulations) inevitable fall, and how further deregulation improved the world economy.
Krueger places emphasis on the need to remove trade barriers and to deregulate domestic economies in the book Struggling with Success. Krueger says a lot of credit must be given to tools like “producer subsidy equivalent” in helping to remove trade barriers. “That tool permitted negotiations to begin restricting and dismantling agricultural protection (p 63).” These effective protection and cost benefit analysis gave politicians “empirical quantification, however rough, of their relevant magnitudes (p 63).” Krueger states that research results should be “observable, hopefully quantifiable, and recognizable by the policy maker (p 64).” The most prevalent danger for economist is for their theories to be misinterpreted by policy makers (p 64).
Ultimately, regulation has negative effects of the market in the country imposing the regulation and may have spillover effects on other countries trading with the nation imposing the regulations (p85). She points to the interest equalization tax that caused the move of financial capital from the New York to London, Sarbanes-Oxley caused corporate headquarters to be moved from the US, and anti-dumping duties caused the move of computer assembly firms (p85). She concludes here by saying that unprecedented economic growth from open trade regimes led to an increased appreciation of supply side economics.Reforming India's Economic, Financial and Fiscal Policies (2003, with Sajjid Z. Chinoy);
Latin American Macroeconomic Reform: The Second Stage (2003, with Jose Antonio Gonzales, Vittorio Corbo, and Aaron Tornell);
Economic Policy Reform and the Indian Economy (2003);
A new approach to sovereign debt restructuring (2002);
Economic Policy Reform: The Second Stage (2000); and
The WTO as an International Organization (2000).
Krueger, Anne O (2012). Struggling with Success: Challenges Facing the International Economy. Hackensack, New Jersey: World Scientific. p. 400. ISBN 978-981-4374-32-3.