In 2008, U.S. economist Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Krugman, one of the best-known economists in the world, is familiar to the public mainly through his regular column in the New York Times and for his New York Times blog titled “The Conscience of a Liberal.” Besides being an original theorist in international trade, economic geography, and macroeconomics, Krugman has been one of his generation’s best expositors of good economics. His excellent book Pop Internationalism and his popular articles of the 1990s, many of them in the web publication Slate, make a strong case for free trade.

This is from my bio of Paul Krugman in the on-line Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Read the whole thing.

One of my projects since publication of the print version in 2007/2008 has been to catch up on bios of Nobel Prize winning economists. There will be more to come.

Because space on the web is not a constraint the same way space in a print version is, the bios that are just on the web, like Krugman’s, are often longer than the bios in the print version.

Here’s one of my favorite paragraphs:

One of Krugman’s most powerful articles is “Ricardo’s Difficult Idea.” In that piece, Krugman shared his frustration, one that many economists have felt, that the vast majority of non-economist intellectuals do not understand the insight that david ricardo had about free trade almost 200 years ago. Ricardo’s insight was that people specialize in producing the goods and services in which they have a comparative advantage. The result is that we never need to worry about low-wage countries competing us out of jobs because the most they can do is change the items in which we have a comparative advantage. Krugman pointed out that, although we can explain Ricardo’s insight to our economics students, most non-economist intellectuals are unwilling to take even ten minutes to understand it. But that does not stop them from writing about trade as if they’re informed. Krugman singled out Robert Reich’s 1983 article, “Beyond Free Trade.” The article, wrote Krugman, “received wide attention, even though it was fairly unclear exactly how Reich proposed to go beyond free trade.”