This year’s Nobel Prize for Economics goes to three economists: David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens. This was announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday in Stockholm.

This year’s Nobel Prize in Economics goes to three researchers: David Card, Joshua D. Angrist and Guido W. Imbens will be awarded, as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm announced on Monday.

All three deal with questions of labor market theory. The Canadian David Card from the University of California at Berkeley is recognized “for its empirical contributions to labor economics”.

The American Joshua D. Angrist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Cambridge and the Dutch Guido W. Imbens from Stanford University share the second half of the award “for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships”.

What effects does immigration have on wages?

All three researchers “provided us with new knowledge about the labor market and showed what conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect from natural experiments,” the academy justified its decision. “Your approach has spilled over into other areas and revolutionized empirical research.”

Many of the big questions in the social sciences have to do with cause and effect – such as how immigration affects wages and employment levels. These questions are difficult to answer because there are no comparisons. “We don’t know what would have happened if there had been less immigration,” said the academy. However, this year’s award winners have shown that it is possible to answer these and similar questions with natural experiments.

Only a German received the award

The Nobel Prize for Economics, which has been awarded since 1969, is the only one that does not go back to the will of the prize donor and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel (1833-1896). It was donated by the Swedish Central Bank and is therefore not, strictly speaking, a classic Nobel Prize. Nevertheless, it will be presented together with the other prizes on the anniversary of Nobel’s death, December 10th.

So far, only one German has been among the Nobel laureates in economics: the Bonn scientist Reinhard Selten received it in 1994 together with John Nash and John Harsanyi for their pioneering contributions to non-cooperative game theory.

According to tradition, scientists from the USA are among the favorites for the award. Last year it went to the US economists Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson, who were honored for their improvements in auction theory and the invention of new auction formats.


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