Monday, October 13, 2008

Three Cheers For Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman!

I am not an economist, nor do I play one on television (or anywhere else, for that matter).

However, I have, and continue to, enjoy reading Paul Krugman's writings (be it his column in the NYT, or his blog), particularly the past few years, with his banging away at the Bush Grindhouse.

As to his economic writings, he always seems to be able to deliver cumbersome, arcane financial-economic speak in a very understandable (even entertaining) manner.

His recent offerings, on the Wall Street Meltdown and Paulson's Heist have been on-the-money.

So, it was, when firing up the computer today, beaming with a hearty smile upon seeing that Krugman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics today.

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2008 Press Release

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2008 to

Paul Krugman
Princeton University, NJ, USA
From the NYT;
Mr. Krugman received the award for his work on international trade and economic geography. In particular, the prize committee lauded his work for “having shown the effects of economies of scale on trade patterns and on the location of economic activity.” He has developed models that explain observed patterns of trade between countries, as well as what goods are produced where and why. Traditional trade theory assumes that countries are different and will exchange different kinds of goods with each other; Mr. Krugman’s theories have explained why worldwide trade is dominated by a few countries that are similar to each other, and why some countries might import the same kinds of goods that it exports.
Erza Klein;
Nobel prize winner. And Krugman won it his way: He never retreated into the academy, never jealously insulated his expertise and insight from controversy because that would be safest for his reputation. Lots of folks seem to think that engagement with the public sphere puts a ceiling on academic achievement, and some had even said to me that Krugman had made himself too controversial to ever win a Nobel prize. They were wrong, and I hope more economists and assorted academics now follow Krugman's model of deploying their expertise for the benefit of an interested public.
Tyler Cowan, a colleague of Krugman;
I have to say I did not expect him to win until Bush left office, as I thought the Swedes wanted the resulting discussion to focus on Paul's academic work rather than on issues of politics. So I am surprised by the timing but not by the choice.
Cowan also links to a very amusing paper Krugman wrote, "Supply, Demand, and English Food", that you should go read.

Congratulations Paul Krugman!

Keep up the good work ... And the good fight!

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