Paul Krugman, the Princeton University academic and New York Times columnist, won the Nobel economic prize yesterday for his analysis of how economies of scale can affect trade patterns and the location of economic activity.
Krugman has been a harsh critic of the administration of US President George W. Bush and the Republican Party in the New York Times, where he writes a regular column and has a blog called Conscience of a Liberal.
He has come out forcefully against Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain during the economic meltdown, saying McCain is “more frightening now than he was a few weeks ago” and earlier that the Republicans had become “the party of stupid.”
The 55-year-old US economist was the lone of winner of the US$1.4 million award and the latest in a string of US researchers to be honored. It was only the second time since 2000 that a single laureate won the prize, which is typically shared by two or three researchers.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences praised Krugman for formulating a new theory to answer questions about free trade.
“What are the effects of free trade and globalization? What are the driving forces behind worldwide urbanization? Paul Krugman has formulated a new theory to answer these questions,” the academy said in its citation.
“He has thereby integrated the previously disparate research fields of international trade and economic geography,” it said.
The award, known as the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, is the last of the six Nobel prizes announced this year and is not one of the original Nobels. It was created in 1968 by the Swedish central bank in Alfred Nobel’s memory.
Besides his work as an economist at Princeton University in New Jersey, where he has been since 2000, Krugman also writes about politics and inequality in the US. He has written for Foreign Affairs, the Harvard Business Review and Scientific American.