3 economists get Nobel for work on real-world experiments

David Card was recognized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for his groundbreaking work on the minimum wage, immigration and education. They showed, using a natural experiment – ​​where researchers study situations in the real world – that raising the minimum wage does not necessarily lead to fewer jobs.

The other half of the prize went to Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbenso To demonstrate how accurate conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn from natural experiments.

“The study of the card of key questions for society and the methodological contributions of Angrist and Imbens have shown that natural experiments are a rich source of knowledge. Their research has greatly improved our ability to answer important causal questions, which It has been very beneficial to the society.” Peter Fredrickson, chairman of the Economic Sciences Prize Committee, said in a statement.

Card was born in Guelph, Canada and is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Angrist is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Imbens was born in Eindhoven, Netherlands and is a professor at Stanford University in California.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences stated that the study of cards from the early 1990s “challenged traditional wisdom.” When New Jersey raised its minimum wage to labor market conditions in neighboring Pennsylvania, by comparison, it was able to maintain the accepted theory that increasing the minimum wage would create fewer jobs.

Researchers have little control in natural experimentation. In a clinical trial, scientists decide who receives the treatment or intervention and who does not, but in a natural experiment, they do not have control over which individuals are in the treatment or control group. For example, the card compared fast food workers living in Pennsylvania to people in New Jersey.

Angrist and Imbens helped pioneer the use of naturalistic studies, showing what conclusions could be drawn from them about causality.

“The framework they created has fundamentally changed how researchers approach empirical questions using data from natural experiments or random field experiments,” said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The prize, officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences, was not instituted by Alfred Nobel. It was established by the central bank of Sweden and is awarded in memory of Nobel. The card will receive half of the 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million) prize. NS The remaining prize money will be divided between Angrist and Imbans.

Card said Monday that he thought he was the victim of a practical joke.

“The message said the call was coming from Sweden,” he said just after winning the prize. “I have some friends who would do stunts like this.”

Card said his work was mostly about “trying to achieve a more scientific tie-in in economics and evidence-based analysis”.

“Most old-fashioned economists are very theoretical, but these days, a great deal of economics is really crazy, looking at topics like education or health, or the effects of immigration or wage policies,” They said. said.

American economist Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson Was awarded last year’s Economics Prize for his work on auction theory. Professors at Stanford University were recognized for theoretical discoveries that improved the way auctions worked and made it easier to allocate scarce resources.
Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Creme Received the 2019 Nobel To pioneer the poverty reduction approach. Duflo was the second woman to be awarded the prize, which has been given since 1969.


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