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Trade and Geography: Paul Krugman and the 2008 Nobel Prize for Economics


  • Steven Brakman
  • Harry Garretsen


Abstract The 2008 Nobel Prize for economics was awarded to Paul Krugman for three papers—Krugman (1979, 1980, 1991). In this paper we illustrate that, indeed, these three papers are closely connected. We present a summary of the papers using a unified framework. Central in the discussion is the so-called home market effect that was already alluded to in Krugman (1979). We evaluate his work and conclude that these three papers changed and improved the way in which economists think about trade and geography. Commerce et Géographie: Paul Krugman et le Prix Nobel 2008 en ÉconomieRésumé Dans la présent communication, nous illustrons la façon dont ces trois communications sont en rapport étroit. Nous présentons un récapitulatif sur ces communications, en suivant un cadre unifié. Au cœur même de ces discussions se trouve ce que l'on appelle l'effet du marché intérieur, déjà évoqué dans Krugman (1979). Nous évaluons cet ouvrage, en concluant que ces communications ont changé et optimisé la façon dont les économistes conçoivent le commerce et la géographie. Comercio y Geografía: Paul Krugman y el Premio Nobel 2008 en EconomíaRésumén En este documento ilustramos que, de hecho, estos tres ensayos están estrechamente relacionados. Presentamos un resumen de los ensayos utilizando un marco unificado. Un factor fundamental del debate es el denominado efecto del mercado nacional, al que ya se había hecho alusión en Krugman (1979). Evaluamos este trabajo y concluimos que estos tres ensayos cambiaron y mejoraron la forma de pensar de los economistas sobre el comercio y la geografía.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen, 2009. "Trade and Geography: Paul Krugman and the 2008 Nobel Prize for Economics," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 5-23.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:4:y:2009:i:1:p:5-23
    DOI: 10.1080/17421770902739120

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    Cited by:

    1. Kristian Behrens & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2009. "Krugman's "Papers in Regional Science": The 100 dollar bill on the sidewalk is gone and the 2008 Nobel Prize well-deserved," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(2), pages 467-489, June.
    2. Jochem, Patrick & Schleich, Joachim, 2012. "Exploring the drivers behind automotive exports in OECD countries: An empirical analysis," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S3/2012, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).

    More about this item


    Nobel Prize 2008; Paul Krugman; trade; geography; FI; RI; N0;

    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General


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