Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Krugman Wins Nobel in Economics

To most of the reading public (including me) this looks like a classic example of the politicization of the Nobel Prizes -- however I've consistently found very smart economics that I read online to say that Krugman is in fact a very good economist when he's dealing with economics, though a total hack when writing for the NY Times.

For those interested in reading about "the other Paul Krugman", Marginal Revolution provides a good and readable explanation of Krugman's academic work, and his achievements in trade theory. Also readable (and very short) is Arnold Kling's post on EconLog.


1990bluejay said...

You can't miss his name and work in international econ - some real solid stuff and innovative for the topic and analysis. But, like so many academics who gain a following in the popular publishing / non-academic world - he lessened himself and the rigor that had been there dissipated and as well as the originality. Yes, truly a commentary on the US election by the Nobel Committee, though I'm sure that Krugman was aghast - or would have been at one time - about Obama's take on free trade, as evidenced by Goolsbee's NAFTA comments from February/March of this year.

j. christian said...

I agree with 1990bluejay. My first reaction was, Ugh. There are at least two dozen economists who are just as (if not more) worthy of the honor. It seemed like a highly politicized choice.

Krugman has done some good research on trade, and some of his earlier writing for the general public is witty and provocative. But as time goes on, he just sounds like more of a partisan hack than anything else.

Economists get into trouble when they start thinking they know policy. It doesn't help that most of them have the moral literacy of a sixteen-year-old. Just look at the way they frame the abortion debate in terms of costs and benefits, and you can see what I mean.

Darwin said...

Would you say that we're maybe looking at a mix of a merit pick and a political pick: On the merits that he'd done good work in these fields -- a political pick in that it was a solo prize rather than shared with some of the other well known economists who worked on the same topics?