Paul Krugman's Nobel Prize in Economics apparently has to do with how economies of scale affect international trade patterns. Now I'll admit that I haven't read Krugman's entire body of work here, nor is it terribly likely that I'd be able to understand it in detail either without a lot of work, but seems to me that concepts such as comparative advantage and economies of scale were well discussed in the "recent" past by those such as Adam Smith and Fredric Bastiat, among others. Hence, it's not entirely clear to me exactly what his contribution is. (Shawn? you reading?)
And here's a list of laureates. Scary listing; Leonid Vitalyevich Kantorovich of the U.S.S.R. in 1975 for work on "optimal allocation of resources". One would think that a laureate honored for work in the "optimal allocation of resources" might have come from a country without long lines for bread and other essentials, but evidently not. I guess he had ample reason to know what didn't work.
(dare I suggest that some of these listings demonstrate that the Sverige Riksbank prize may sometimes mean little more than a Nobel Peace or Literature prize?)
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