Monday, October 13, 2008

And The Nobel Prize Goes to....

Paul Krugman of Princeton and NYT columnist.

His academic work on increasing returns to scale in the international trade as well as economic geography are surely worth the Nobel-- although his partisanship tone in his NYT op-eds somewhat discounted it. But no doubt, Krugman is a prolific writer and as an economist, one of the best.

My favorite book is Pop Internationalism when he debunked those funny pundits' faux international economics theories by not only pointing names, but also deploying superb writing skills. Before becoming columnist, he was the most effective guardian against the economics illiteracy in public discussion. Lately, ironically, as a pundit, he has been the subject of the same contention.

He also earned fame for being 1998 Asia crisis analyst, partly due to his somewhat unrelated pre crisis column in the Foreign Affairs in 1994, The Myth of Asia's Miracle. Borrowing Alwyn Young's Asian countries' TFP analysis, he concluded that the high growth, the miracle, was not a result of total productivity but very much capital accumulation which is subject to diminishing return. I think this piece was my first encounter with Paul Krugman.

To me, and the baristas here, (early) Krugman's are the example for popular yet effective, no-nonsense, writings that get the economic theories right.

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