Romer is on leave from his position as University Professor at New York University. His initial interest in technological progress led to research on topics ranging from an abstract analysis of how the economics of ideas differs from the economics of objects to practical suggestions about how to improve science and technology policy. More recently, his research on catch-up growth in low- and middle-income countries has emphasized the importance of government policies that encourage orderly urban expansion.
Before NYU, Romer taught at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and while there, also started Aplia, an education technology company dedicated to increasing student effort. Romer has also variously taught economics at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, and the University of Rochester.
In 2002, he received the Recktenwald Prize for his work on the role of ideas in sustaining economic growth. Romer holds bachelor of science in mathematics from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago after doing graduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Queens University.