A Nobel Prize for Paul Krugman

The Al Gore of partisan economics? Pshaw. He deserved this award, whether or not he was right about Republican economics.

By Andrew Leonard
Published October 13, 2008 1:04PM (EDT)

Some people appear to think that Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in economics for his analysis of "trade patterns and location of economic activity." Since these people would include the Nobel Prize selection committee, I suppose we should believe them.

Paul Krugman has always been considered on the short list for a Nobel Prize, although some economists thought he hurt his chances by becoming a prominent political partisan. Now some outraged right-wingers smell a rat. (One commenter at Marginal Revolution called it "an act of intellectual vandalism" on a par with Al Gore's selection as winner of the Nobel Peace Prize). Do they have a point? Maybe. In his tenure as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has been a tireless critic of Republican economic policy. And he was right. He deserves a prize.

(But seriously, if you want in-depth analysis, Tyler Cowen's constantly updated coverage of the prize and what it means is the best.)

Almost exactly a year ago, I opened my review of Krugman's most recent book, "The Conscience of a Liberal," with the sentence:

Now is a good time to be Paul Krugman.

It just got even better.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Economics Globalization How The World Works Paul Krugman Republican Party U.s. Economy