October 13, 2008
Krugman's Nobel Prize

Prior to the announcement of the 2006 prize I said:

My prediction:

Bhagwati, Dixit, and Krugman - for international trade theory

I would have liked to see Krugman win solo for his excellent economic geography work, but I don't see that happening since I think the committee would prefer to have him share the award.

While I certainly appreciate where commentators like Russ Roberts and Pete Boettke are coming from, on the awarding of this year's prize to Krugman I am in agreement with the thoughts and conclusions of Tyler Cowen and Kevin Grier. Like Ed Glaeser did with urban economics (and may he one day win a Nobel too), Paul Krugman saved economic geography. (Note that this sentiment is not incompatible with the excellent comment of Barkley Rosser on the neglected precursors to Krugman's work).

While I think the Nobel is deserved, my preferences for the current Nobel are close to what they were back in 2006 when I wrote:

Tullock and Krueger - for rent-seeking

Baumol and Kirzner - for entrepreneurship

Hanushek and ? - for economics of education

Richard Muth, Edwin Mills, and Jan Brueckner - for development and extension of the monocentric city model of urban location.

Today, I would only make one change. Today, I would certainly add Alchian and Demsetz for property rights economics to the list, just below Tullock and Krueger and above Baumol and Kirzner.

Posted by Joshua Hall at 10:35 PM in Economics

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. -Adam Smith

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