For Paul Krugman, economist, a Nobel Prize.

Andrew Leonard ingeniously uses his How the World Works column in Salon to congratulate economist Paul Krugman on his Nobel Prize win. 

 Some people appear to think that Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in economics for his analysis of “trade patterns and location of economic activity.” Since these people would include the Nobel Prize selection committee, I suppose we should believe them.

Paul Krugman has always been considered on the short list for a Nobel Prize, although some economists thought he hurt his chances by becoming a prominent political partisan. Now some outraged right-wingers smell a rat. (One commenter at Marginal Revolution called it “an act of intellectual vandalism” on a par with Al Gore’s selection as winner of the Nobel Peace Prize). Do they have a point? Maybe. In his tenure as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has been a tireless critic of Republican economic policy. And he was right. He deserves a prize.

(But seriously, if you want in-depth analysis, Tyler Cowen’s constantly updated coverage of the prize and what it means is the best.)

Almost exactly a year ago, I opened my review of Krugman’s most recent book, “The Conscience of a Liberal,” with the sentence:

Now is a good time to be Paul Krugman.

It just got even better.

Those of use who know Krugman as a very sharp columnist much better than we know or understand his contribution to economics are grateful that Leonard has found a way of speaking for us.

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