Paul Krugman has been named winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in economics. This one literally comes out of left field, as none of the betting pools or experts had him as a likely candidate. Unlike most economists, whose work is little know to the public, Krugman, based at Princeton, has been an Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, and he even has a blog for them. (Is Krugman the first blogger-Nobel Laureate? Answer: No. We were just reminded that Gary Becker has a blog, alongside Judge Richard Posner.).
Tyler Cowen notes that this is truly a “real world pick”, a nod to economists who write concretely about economics directed towards the public and to policy makers. Cowen also has a good set of links to help familiarise yourself with his work. He points fondly to Krugman’s critique of Austrian trade cycle theory and a paper on why Brits have such bad food.
You also have to wonder whether the choice was seen as an anti-Bush pick, given Krugman’s consistent criticism of the current administration.