The Nobel Prize in economics was awarded on Monday to three specialists in experimental economics, the Canadian David Card, the American-Israeli Joshua Angrist and the American-Dutch Guido Imbens.
The Nobel Prize in economics awarded, Monday, October 11, three specialists in experimental economics: the Canadian David Card, the American-Israeli Joshua Angrist and the American-Dutch Guido Imbens.
The trio “brought us new ideas on the job market and showed what conclusions can be drawn from natural experiments in terms of causes and consequences”, greeted the Nobel jury.
David Card, born in Canada in 1956, teaches economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He gets half the price for “his empirical contributions to labor economics”.
The second half of the prize is awarded jointly to the American Joshua D. Angrist, born in 1960 and teacher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, and to Guido W. Imbens, born in 1963 in the Netherlands, who teaches at the ‘Stanford University “for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships”.
An approach that “revolutionized empirical research”
With “natural experiments” reminiscent of clinical trials in pharmacology, the trio “brought us new ideas on the job market and showed what conclusions can be drawn from natural experiments in terms of causes and consequences”, welcomed the jury.
“Their approach has extended to other fields and has revolutionized empirical research”, underlined the committee of 53e “Bank of Sweden Prize in Economics in Memory of Alfred Nobel”.
Thanks to “natural experiments”, David Card, born in 1956, notably analyzed the effects of minimum wages, immigration and education on the labor market. Rewarded “for his empirical contributions to labor economics”, this professor at the California University of Berkeley receives half the price, endowed with ten million crowns (approximately one million euros).
“His studies in the early 1990s challenged received ideas, which led to new analyzes and new perspectives,” noted the Nobel jury.
In particular, the results of his research highlighted the fact that increasing the minimum wage does not necessarily lead to a decrease in the number of jobs.
The other half is split between Joshua Angrist, a 61-year-old MIT teacher, and Guido Imbens, a 58-year-old Stanford professor and native of Eindhoven (Netherlands), “for their methodological contributions to the analysis of cause and effect relationships ”.
In the mid-1990s, their work made it possible to draw solid conclusions about the causes and effects that can be drawn from natural experiences, for example in education.
They were thus able to conclude that an additional year of study increased on average the salary by 9%, or that Americans born in the last part of the year had better studies.
“I am absolutely amazed”, testified Guido Imbens, reached by telephone by the Nobel foundation. “Josh Angrist was my wedding witness so he’s a good friend both personally and professionally and I’m delighted to share the award with him and David,” he said.
The three men were among dozens of names being considered by experts polled by AFP.
Last year, the economy prize crowned an American duo of auction specialists, Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson.
Sometimes referred to as a “false Nobel” because it was not provided for in Alfred Nobel’s founding will, the economics prize is the most masculine, with only two laureates among its now 89 recipients.
It is also largely monopolized by American economists: we have to go back to 1999 for a year without the United States having had a laureate in economics.
The 53e economy prize ends a season when the committees have foiled the forecasts of experts as well as punters, with 12 winners and only one winner.