On Monday, three U.S. economists won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics for their groundbreaking research on the impact of minimum wages, immigration and education on the labor market, and for creating a scientific basis for drawing conclusions from such research that cannot be used. traditional methodology.
Canadian David Card of the University of California, Berkeley won half of the prize, while Joshua Angrist of MIT and 58-year-old Dutch-born Guido Imbens from Stanford University shared the other half.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three “completely changed the empirical work in economics.”
“Card’s research on key issues for society and the methodological contributions of Angrist and Imbens have shown that experimentation in nature is a rich source of knowledge,” said Peter Fredriksson, chairman of the Economic Sciences Committee. “Their research has dramatically improved our ability to answer key causal questions, which has been of great benefit to society.”
Card was working on a study that used restaurants in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania to measure the impact of raising the minimum wage. He and his late research partner Alan Krueger found that raising the minimum hourly wage did not affect employment, challenging the conventional wisdom that raising the minimum wage would reduce employment.
Card’s work also challenged another widespread idea that immigrants are cutting wages for local workers. He found that the income of indigenous people could benefit from new immigration, while immigrants who previously lived in the country are at risk of being hurt.
Angrist and Imbens received their half of the award for developing methodological questions that enable economists to draw firm conclusions about cause and effect even when they cannot conduct research according to rigorous scientific methods.
Speaking on the phone from his Massachusetts home, Imbens told the assembled reporters to announce that he was asleep when the call came in.
“The whole house was asleep, we had a busy weekend.” – said Imbens. “I was absolutely thrilled to hear this news.”
He said he was especially thrilled for Angrist, who was best man at his wedding.
Unlike other Nobel Prizes, the Prize in Economics was established not by the will of Alfred Nobel, but by the Central Bank of Sweden in his memory in 1968, and the first laureate was chosen a year later. This is the last prize announced annually.
Last week, the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia for their fight for freedom of expression in countries where reporters have faced constant attacks, harassment and even killings.
Ressa was the only woman to receive an award this year in any category.
The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to the British Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurne, who was recognized for his “uncompromising and compassionate insight into the consequences of colonialism and the fate of refugees.”
The Physiology and Medicine Prize was awarded to Americans David Julius and Ardem Pataputian for their discoveries about how the human body perceives temperature and touch.
Three scientists received a physics prize for work that discovered order in seeming disorder, helping to explain and predict the complex forces of nature, including expanding our understanding of climate change.
Benjamin List and David W.K. McMillan won the Chemistry Prize for discovering an easier, cleaner way to create molecules that can be used to create compounds, including drugs and pesticides.