The 2021 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics Science has been awarded to three economists for their innovative use of natural experiments to solve some of the field’s toughest problems.
David Card, of the University of California, Berkeley, shared the prize with Joshua D. Angrist, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Guido W. Imbens, of Stanford University.
Card was recognised for his “empirical contributions to labour economics”, while Angrist and Imbens were awarded the prize “for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships.”
Card’s work revealed that “increasing the minimum wage does not necessarily lead to fewer jobs. We now know that the incomes of people who were born in a country can benefit from new immigration, while people who immigrated at an earlier time risk being negatively affected,” The Royal Swedish Academy Sciences, who awards the Nobel Prize, said.
Anrgist and Imbens’ work demonstrated how precise conclusions can be extracted from conducting natural experiments.
Peter Fredriksson, chair of the Economic Sciences Prize Committee, said: “Card’s studies of core questions for society and Angrist and Imbens’ methodological contributions have shown that natural experiments are a rich source of knowledge. Their research has substantially improved our ability to answer key causal questions, which has been of great benefit to society.