NOBELS

Nobel economics prize goes to 'natural experiment' pioneers

4:25 min
  • Economists David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens have won the "2021 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel", often called the Nobel economics prize, for pioneering "natural experiments" to show real-world economic impacts in areas from minimum wage to immigration.
  • Unlike in medicine or other sciences, economists cannot conduct rigidly controlled clinical trials. Instead, natural experiments use real-life situations to study impacts on the world, an approach that has spread to other social sciences.
  • "Their work has showed it is possible to answer questions about cause and effects by using natural experiments," Professor Ingrid Werner, who is on the prize committee, tells Radio Sweden.