Paul Krugman nets Nobel for Economics

Stockholm, October 13:

US economist Paul Krugman, a prolific New York Times columnist and fierce critic of Washington’s economic policies, won the Nobel Economics Prize today.

“The Princeton University professor won for his ‘analysis of trade patterns’,” the Nobel jury said.

Krugman, 55, has formulated a new theory that determines effects of free trade and globalisation as well as driving forces behind worldwide urbanisation, the citation said.

“I am a great believer of continuing to do work. I hope it doesn’t change things too much,” Krugman said after the announcement.

“Krugman’s approach is based on the premise that many goods and services can be produced more cheaply in long series, a concept generally known as economies of scale,” the jury wrote.

Unlike traditional trade theory, which assumes that differences between countries explain why some nations export agricultural products while others export industrial goods, Krugman’s “theory clarifies why worldwide trade is in fact dominated by countries which not only have similar conditions but also trade in similar products,” it added.

His theory shows globalisation tends to increase pressures on urban living, sucking people into centres of concentration.

“Krugman’s theories have shown the outcome of these processes can well be that regions become divided into a high-technology urbanised core and a less developed periphery,” the jury said.

Ever greater concentration in cities is a major policy issue everywhere but particularly in developing countries, since cities struggle to have infrastructure to cope and urbanisation makes it increasingly difficult to deal with urban environmental pollution.

Last year, US trio Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson won for their pioneering work on trading mechanisms aimed at making markets work more efficiently.

Laureates receive a gold medal, a diploma and $1.42 million, which can be split among up to a maximum of three winners per prize.

The formal prize ceremonies will be held in Stockholm and Oslo on December 10.

Economics Laureates

•2008: Paul Krugman (US)

•2007: Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson (US)

•2006: Edmund S Phelps (US)

•2005: Thomas C Schelling (US), Robert J Aumann (US-Israel)

•2004: Finn Kydland (Norway), Edward Prescott (US)

•2003: Robert F Engle (US), Clive W J Granger (Britain)

•2002: Daniel Kahneman (Israel-US) and Vernon L Smith (US)

•2001: George Akerlof, A Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz (US)

•2000: James Heckman (US), Daniel McFadden (US)

•1999: Robert Mundell (Canada)

•1998: Amartya Sen (India)

•1997: Robert Merton (US), Myron Scholes (US)

•1996: James Mirrlees (Britain), William Vickrey (US)

•1995: Robert Lucas Jr (US)

•1994: John Harsanyi, John Nash (US), Reinhard Selten (Germany)

•1993: Robert Fogel, Douglas North (US)

•1992: Gary Becker (US)

•1991: Ronald Coase (Britain)

•1990: Harry Markowitz , Merton Miller, William Sharpe (US)

•1989: Trygve Haavelmo (Norway)

•1988: Maurice Allais (France)

•1987: Robert Solow (US)

•1986: James Buchanan (US)

•1985: Franco Modigliani (US)

•1984: Richard Stone (Britain)

•1983: Gerard Debreu (US)

•1982: George Stigler (US)

•1981: James Tobin (US)

•1980: Lawrence Klein (US)

•1979: Theodore Schultz (US), Arthur Lewis (Britain)

•1978: Herbert Simon (US)

•1977: Bertil Ohlin (Sweden), James Meade (Britain)

•1976: Milton Friedman (US)

•1975: Leonid Kantorovich (Soviet Union), Tjalling Koopmans (US)

•1974: Gunnar Myrdal (Sweden), Friedrich von Hayek (Britain)

•1973: Vassily Leontief (US)

•1972: John Hicks (Britain), Kenneth Arrow (US)

•1971: Simon Kuznets (US)

•1970: Paul Samuelson (US)

•1969: Ragnar Frisch (Norway), Jan Tinbergen (Netherlands). — AFP