Monday, October 13, 2008

A Good Day for the Economics Profession

Paul Krugman today won something he long deserved to win. I remember especially enjoying his work on increasing returns to scale and patterns of trade when I was in grad school. And a few weeks ago, he produced a lovely, simple theoretical model of why capital infusion would be a more effective mechanism for bailing out banks than asset purchases (link to come).

Krugman's genius resides in his ability to develop simple models that are remarkably powerful at explaining a complicated world. Besides that, he is the rare economist who can write a graceful English sentence.

3 comments:

doc said...

What's interesting is how outraged a lot of people are by this. Including some otherwise reasonable people. For example, Peter Klein at Organizations and Markets (http://organizationsandmarkets.com/2008/10/13/krugman/) says "I don’t have time for a thoughtful and intelligent post on Paul Krugman’s Nobel Prize, so a few snippets from other commentators will have to do for now." And then he procedes to post almost entirely negative comments on Krugman's work, and the comments display a lack of understanding of that work. It gets worse on some of the purely polotical sites. Much worse.

However, both Alex Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen (at Marginal Revolution) (http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2008/10/what-is-new-tra.html and http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2008/10/paul-krugman-wi.html), neiother of whom works in the same traditions as Krugmen, both provide nice summaries of his work--but look at the comments to Cowen's post.

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