David Card, Joshua D Angrist, Guido W Imbens won the Nobel Prize in Economic Science for 2021. The Nobel Committee awarded one half of the prize to Card for “for his empirical contributions to labour economics” and the other half jointly to Angrist and Imbens “for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships”.
“This year’s Laureates – David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens – have provided us with new insights about the labour market and shown what conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn from natural experiments. Their approach has spread to other fields and revolutionised empirical research,” the Swedish Academy said in a statement.
It added, “Many of the big questions in the social sciences deal with cause and effect. How does immigration affect pay and employment levels? How does a longer education affect someone’s future income? These questions are difficult to answer because we have nothing to use as a comparison. We do not know what would have happened if there had been less immigration or if that person had not continued studying.”
“However, this year’s Laureates have shown that it is possible to answer these and similar questions using natural experiments. The key is to use situations in which chance events or policy changes result in groups of people being treated differently, in a way that resembles clinical trials in medicine.”
Nobel Prizes are awarded in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel.
The Nobel Prize is five separate prizes that, according to Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel's will of 1895, are awarded to ”those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.”
Nobel Prizes are awarded in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace (Nobel characterized the Peace Prize as "to the person who has done the most or best to advance fellowship among nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and the establishment and promotion of peace congresses").
The prestigious award comes with a gold medal, a diploma, and a monetary award (10 million Swedish krona). The prize money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Nobel, who died in 1895.