2021 Nobel Prize in Economics awarded to Guido Imbens, David Card and Joshua Angrist


The 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics has been awarded to three economists who used natural experiments – those rooted in real life – and demonstrated that they ‘can be used to answer central questions for society’.

The award will be shared by Guido Imbens, David Card and Joshua Angrist.

Guido Imbens is Professor of Economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. David Card is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley and Director of the Labor Studies Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Joshua Angrist is Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Imbens and Angrist shared half of the award for ‘demonstrating how precise conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn from natural experiments’. The other half of the award was given to Card for his work with Alan Krueger that used a natural experiment to analyse the impact of increasing minimum wages on the labour market.  

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that the three economists had ‘revolutionised empirical research in the economic sciences’.

'On behalf of the Royal Economic Society, I am delighted send our congratulations and best wishes to David, Josh and Guido.  Their work has had a transformative effect on applied research in economics, changing the way that empirical work is done.'  Tim Besley, RES President.

Professor Imbens gave the Sargan Lecture at the Royal Economic Society 2021 Annual Conference, which can be viewed here.