Krugman Wins the Nobel Prize

Congratulations to Paul Krugman, who has won this year’s Nobel Prize in economics!

Although most Americans know him best as a firebrand liberal New York Times columnist, in an earlier incarnation he did truly great work in economics revitalizing the study of trade and geography.

While many economists will be surprised that he won the prize so young (age 55) and alone (instead of with other economists like Jagdish Bhagwati), I think most economists will think he was a good choice — despite the fact that it aggravates many academics that he has taken such a partisan role in the public debate.

His first quote: “It’s a total surprise.”

I look forward to seeing photos from today’s press conference to see when he got his last haircut.


NW

Blog posts and newspaper columns will never be on par with papers published in academic journals--or for that matter even with popular-level books. I'm a social scientist, but not an economist; I haven't read Krugman's scholarly, technical papers and can't comment on them. I have read his recent book, _The Conscience of a Liberal_. It is definitely pro-Democratic Party. And while I am not a Democrat myself, in my judgment, his book is better than any other popular-level book on economics that I have read in recent years ...

Gregory N.

I've always appreciated people who are open and honest about their beliefs and reasoning and allow the reader to decide whether or not to agree. William F. Buckley and Paul Krugman are two I put those camp. Their position and reasoning is quite clear, whether you agree or not is up to you.

Mankiw's pro-Bush, but I'll pretend like I'm mostly non-partisan, but I'll ignore all good liberal arguments schtick doesn't sit well with me. Neither do some of the posts here. It seems like a dishonest attempt to give plausible deniability to accusations of partisanship. Or, even more nefariously, a conscious attempt to weasel partisan ideas into readers' heads while claiming pure empiricism.

Joe Smith

"despite the fact that it aggravates many academics that he has taken such a partisan role in the public debate."

There is much to be said for the power of well informed clarity. Too often we only see clarity from the ignorant while the informed allow themselves to be overwhelmed by the details and the qualifiers.

David

Anybody who loves and posts a partisan piece like this one byhttp://home.uchicago.edu/~cbm4/, implicitly is aggrivated by Krugman. That is precisly the difference between a John Bates Clark mind and a Nobel mind.

steve pesce

Krugman vehemently supported the bailout to line the pockets of the rich fat cats on wall street. He then said it was a terrible idea, after it was voted in. Who pays these columnists to lie to the American taxpayer in support of the thieves on Wall Street? It's time to remember who the liars were when this was proposed. And shame them for their crimes against our country.

Cyril Morong

Here is a link to an article Krugman wrote in Slate many years agod that explains why simple models are useful. I think it gives a good idea of one of the ways economics should be done and is very entertaining.

http://www.slate.com/id/1916/

It was called "The Accidental Theorist: All work and no play makes William Greider a dull boy."

"The Accidental Theorist" is the name of one of his books and it contains many essays from Slate.

Jim

Congratulations on your new haircut Paul!

Imad Qureshi

Krugman very well deserved it.

NM

Steven,

The tone of your post betrays a little annoyance. Why, the prize didn't go to a Chicago economist this year. WHY OH WHY IS THAT?

I'd wager Krugman wasn't even on the short list a month ago; but they had to find, in a pinch, a non-tainted economist with enough visibility so as not to look like complete retards.

(And calling Krugman a partisan when you freedom-lovin' Friedman worshippers don't have a problem with him having been good buddies with Pinochet ... that's hypocrisy we can believe in!)

Gray

Uh, I guess you freakonomics guys know more about the growth of human hair (1.5 mm/day?) than me, but I don't think you advocate a daily haircut. Because, you know, this sure looked somewhat like a fresh haircut, when Krugman participated at ABC's roundtable YESTERDAY:

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6015576

:P

Henry George

Wait, the colleague with the haircut theory you mentioned in that column wasn't Krugman? I was sure you meant him. Who is it then?

TimothyCMS

Parsing Levitt's words, this is clearly a backhanded compliment from Levitt to Krugman.

"Although most Americans know him best as a firebrand liberal New York Times columnist, in an earlier incarnation he did truly great work...."

Translation: He is just a partisan writer now, but he USED to be a good economist.

"While many economists will be surprised that he won the prize so young (age 55) and alone (instead of with other economists like Jagdish Bhagwati), I think most economists will think he was a good choice"

Translation: Many economists are surprised because he shouldn't have won. And if he were to win, he should have shared the prize.

I may have been watching too much politics recently, but Levitt's post was definitely not a ringing endorsement.