The Name of This Band is Exploding Heads

by Henry on October 13, 2008

As Kieran notes in comments below, the comments thread to Tyler Cowen’s (perfectly reasonable) “Krugman post”:http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2008/10/paul-krugman-wi.html is pretty hilarious. But given Krugman’s place of pride in the wingnut demonology, I’m sure that this is only a mere scraping of what’s out there on the Internets today. It furthermore occurs to me that someone (i.e. Me) should do a comments thread to collate and conserve the _very bestest_ blogposts and comments on the Vast Nobel Prize Conspiracy. My “opening bid”:http://volokh.com/posts/1223906449.shtml#459727, from ‘derut’ at The Volokh Conspiracy.

Excellent. He was a pseudo Nobel prize. That he deserves. As his politics is pseudoscientific. Great. Now I can applaude. I am sure many of you have watched him on cable networks. Has anyone else noticed he seems a little off. He speaks like a mouse and his beady eyes have a strange stare. He looks like if someone droped a glass he would scream.

It’s the spellings of ‘applaude’ and ‘droped’ that give it that special something. Anyone able to top that?

Update: “Kathy G.”:http://thegspot.typepad.com/blog/2008/10/warmest-congrat.html had this idea before I did.

“It’s a total surprise”

by Daniel on October 13, 2008

And indeed it was – Paul Krugman has won the Nobel Prize for Economics[1].

The citation says he got it “for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity” – ie for new trade theory. Which certainly did pretty much light a bomb under the subject when he published it in the 1980s, but if this is all it’s for, it’s frankly surprising that Krugman got it all to himself; there were plenty of other people who might have felt they deserved a share.

I can’t help thinking that this is actually Krugman’s reward for being the public voice of mainstream sensible Keynesianism for the last fifteen years, starting with the use of the liquidity trap to explain the Japanese slump, going through his prediction of the Asian crises and onward to today. In which case, well done the Nobel[see note 1 again] committee – Krugman’s NYT column has been more use to the public standing of economists than more or less anything published in the journals.

And, of course, congratulations to Prof. Krugman himself, who might very well have believed that he’d done his professional status irreparable harm by taking such an aggressive line against the government of the day; he now gets the double pleasure of receiving the highest reward in economics, just as all of his detractors see their repuations ruined. There is probably some pithy epithet from Keynes or JK Galbraith to be inserted here on the general subject of honesty being the best politics, but I can’t think of it just at this instant.

Update: Hey, have you seen the new Guinness advert?

[1] blah blah blah Sveriges Riksbank. Nobody cares, you know.

Krugman wins Economics Nobel

by John Quiggin on October 13, 2008

Paul Krugman has been awarded the 2008 Nobel prize for economics[1]. The rules of the prize, honoured more in the breach than in the observance in economics, say that it is supposed to be given for a specific discovery, and Krugman is cited for his groundbreaking work in the economics of location done from the late 1970s to the early 1990s.

The reality, though, is that economics prizes are awarded for careers. Krugman’s early work put him on the list of likely Nobelists, but his career took an unusual turn around the time of the 2000 election campaign. While he has still been active in academic research, Krugman’s career for the last eight years or more has been dominated by his struggle (initially a very lonely one) against the lies of the Bush Administration, its supporters and enablers. Undoubtedly, the award of the prize in this of all years, reflects an appreciation of this work on behalf of truth in economics and politics more generally.[2]

We at CT have a more parochial reason for cheering this outcome. Paul has generously agreed to take a part in a CT seminar on the work of Charles Stross, which should be published in the next month or so. Without giving too much away, there are some Nobel-related insights in his contribution.

fn1. Strictly speaking, the Bank of Sweden prize in Economic Sciences in honour of Alfred Nobel, or something like that.
fn2. Doubtless, Republicans will complain about being implicitly identified, yet again, as enemies of science and of truth. But they’ve made their bed and must lie in it (in both senses of the word).