Nobel Prize in Economics to a trio of experimental economists

Sylvie Claire / October 11, 2021


The Nobel Prize in Economics awarded on Monday to three specialists in experimental and empirical economics, the Canadian David Card, the American-Israeli Joshua Angrist and the American-Dutch Guido Imbens.
The trio has given us new insights into the labor market and shown what conclusions can be drawn from natural experiments in terms of causes and consequences, the Nobel jury praised.
Their approach has spread to other fields and revolutionized empirical research, said the jury for the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, the latest of the famous awards.
For the first half, the award recognizes Canadian David Card, born in 1956, for his empirical contributions to labor economics.
Using natural experiments, Card analyzed the effects of minimum wage, immigration and education on the labor market. His studies in the early 1990s challenged conventional wisdom, leading to new analyses and new insights, according to the Nobel jury.
Among other things, his research findings showed that raising the minimum wage does not necessarily lead to fewer jobs.
Through his work, we also realized that school resources are much more important to students' future success in the labor market than previously thought.
Angrist, 61, and Imbens, 58, were jointly recognized for their methodological contributions to the analysis of cause and effect relationships.
In the mid-1990s, the two researchers demonstrated, among other things, how accurate conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn from natural experiments.
Last year, the prize was awarded to the Americans Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, two experts in auctions whose innovative work was used in particular for the allocation of telecommunication frequencies.
The economics award closes a Nobel season marked by the peace prize awarded to two investigative journalists, the director of the Philippine media Rappler, Maria Ressa, and the editor-in-chief of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Dmitri Muratov.
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