Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fujita on Krugman

I have suggested here that Masahisa Fujita deserved to share the Nobel Prize with Paul Krugman. Fujita has coauthored with Krugman in the late 1990s, after Krugman published his 1991 paper that was cited in his prize. However, Fujita has now published a paper with Jaques-Francois Thisse in Regional Science and Urban Economics (RSUE), "New economic geography: An appraisal on the occasion of Paul Krugman's 2008 Nobel prize in economic sciences," March 2009, 39(2), 109-119. The abstract is as follows:

Paul Krugman has clarified the microeconomic underpinnings of both spatial economic agglomerations and regional imbalances at national and international levels. He has achieved this with a series of remarkably original papers and books that succeed in combining imperfect competition, increasing returns, and transportation costs in new and powerful ways. Yet, not everything was brand new in New Economic Geography. To be precise, several disparate pieces of high-quality work were available in urban economics and location theory. Our purpose in this paper is to shed new light on economic geography through the lenses of these two fields of economics and regional science.

The paper provides quite a list of these predecessors, and although the paper does not highlight them too much, they include his paper in 1988 in RSUE that pretty much fully covered what is in the 1991 paper by Krugman, "A monopolistic competition model of spatial agglomeration: a differentiated product approach." The extensive literature he cites includes two important papers in 1980 and 1982 by him with H. Ogawa, as well as highlighting the foundational work in the 1940s and 1950s by the "Father of Regional Science," the still-living at 90 years old, Walter Isard, also one of the founders of "Peace Economics."


ProGrowthLiberal said...

While I would miss Brad's blog contributions, I would be elated if he were asked to assist as Treasury. They need all the able bodied talent they can muster.

cian said...

Yeah, I've heard a couple of geographers make the comment that Krugman had basically rediscovered stuff geographers had known for a long time.

media said...

you allus have to reinvent yourself (identity politics). alan wilson also did the geography, as did dendrinos. the latter even did the inequality.

but krugman did point out that the WTO protestors (seattle) were out of their (i-v/y) league. hope the yale endowment is doing okie dokie; thats what matters, since its only matter. (eg lee smolin on gauge invariance in 'what a scientific economics would look like' you).

Barkley Rosser said...

cian and media,

I note that both Fujita and Thisse are economists. Thus their quite capable list also does not have many geographers on it, much less the occasional physicist. I have previously mentioned people who did relevant work never cited by Krugman as including the physicists Peter Allen and Wolfgang Weidlich, along with the geographer Roger White. Both Alan Wilson and Dimitrios Dendrinos belong on that list as well, being geographers, although I think Wilson was originally a physicist. The economists Marktin Beckmann and Tonu Puu also belong on the list, unmentioned in either this paper by Fujita and Thisse, much less ever by Krugman.