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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Krugman: Concentration Of US Auto Industry Will Probably Disappear

Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics Paul Krugman of the U.S signs a chair, at the Nobel Prize museum in Stockholm, Sweden, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008. The laureates signing a chair at the Nobel museum in Stockholm has become a tradition during the Nobel festivities. The Nobel Prize ceremony will take place in Stockholm Wednesday. (AP Photo/Christine Olsson / SCANPIX)

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Nobel economics prize winner Paul Krugman said Sunday that the beleaguered U.S. auto industry will likely disappear.

"It will do so because of the geographical forces that me and my colleagues have discussed," the Princeton University professor and New York Times columnist told reporters in Stockholm. "It is no longer sustained by the current economy."

Krugman won the 10 million kronor (US$1.4 million) Nobel Memorial Prize in economics for his work on international trade patterns. Some of his research on economic geography seeks to explain why production resources are concentrated in certain locations.

Speaking to reporters three days ahead of the Nobel Prize ceremony, Krugman said plans by U.S. lawmakers to bail out the Big Three automakers were a short-term solution, resulting from a "lack of willingness to accept the failure of a large industry in the midst of an economic crisis."

Facing massive job losses, the White House and congressional Democrats are negotiating a deal to provide about $15 billion in loans to prevent the weakened U.S. auto industry from collapsing.

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