Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Economics Nobel for Paul Krugman is not for views expressed in his New York Times column

It is true that the economic Nobel for Paul Krugman is a pleasant surprise because a common newspaper reader can claim to know who he is, which is not always the case with those who win the Nobel. But The Wall Street Journal carried a piece by a fellow-economist, David Henderson, in which he pointed out that Kurgman's views in his columns are highly partisan. That is a fair enough criticism. But he acknowledges that his work which won him the Nobel was original.
It is interesting to note that it was Ben Barnanke, the Fed Reservce chairman who was in Princeton University, who recruited Krugman to the university. The other curious fact about Krugman is that he served with David Henderson president ronald Reagan's council of economic advisors.
The WSJ carried a report on Krugman winning the Nobel by Justin Lahart, who quotes his embarrassment of being part of the Reagan administration: "It was, in a way, strange for me to be part of the Reagan administration. I was then and still am an unabashed defender of the welfare state, which I regard as the most decent social arrangement yet devised."
But his work on patterns of international trade and economic geography do not have much bearing on his preference for a welfare state.

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