It is incontestably well-deserved. My reaction was like Tyler’s. I was surprised that he got it while Bush was still in office, since that signals to many that he’s being rewarded for his ideology, not his work, which is a shame. But I very much like the idea of the committee honoring publicly-engaged economists. I’d like to see more economists (and philosophers, too!) of Krugman’s caliber taking such an active role in public intellectual life. I think he’s been a source of more confusion than clarity on economic inequality and politics, which is why I’m finishing a paper on the subject with Krugman as the foil. But if my paper is of any worth, it will be partly because Krugman has raised the issue so forcefully and brought it so much more attention. Of course, his heightened prestige certainly doesn’t make my job any easier. But that’s cool.
Also like Tyler, Krugman’s piece on “Ricardo’s Difficult Idea” is one of my favorite pieces of lucid economic explanation.