Well-known New York Times columnist and Princeton professor of economics Paul Krugman has been awarded the 2008 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

Krugman, 55, was recognized for his work on trade theory on the economies of scale. "In the context of both foreign trade and economic geography, the objective is to explain what goods are produced where," Sweden's Royal Academy of Sciences noted in a press release. "Theories of economic geography also attempt to specify the forces whereby labor and capital become located in certain places and not others."

Of note, the Academy made only brief mention of Krugman's Times column in a final section of their press release: "In wider circles, he is better known as a lively blogger and spirited columnist in the New York Times." It is not unlikely that awarding the prize to Krugman -- a vehement critic of the Bush Administration's economic and foreign policies -- will be seen as more evidence by some on the right that the Nobels are often politicized.

For more on the Nobel Prizes, including a piece co-authored by 2007 economics winner Eric Maskin, see our in-depth report.

Update: Read what Krugman and a colleague had to say in our April 1994 issue about the causes of financial trouble in the U.S.

Photo of Paul Krugman copyright Princeton University