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Three economists awarded Nobel Prize for work on natural experiments Updated: 2021-10-12 17:01:51 KST

This year's Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to a trio who showed how natural experiments can be used to answer some of society's most pressing questions, from the minimum wage to migration.
U.S.-based economists David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens shared the award.
David Card of the University of California, Berkeley, was recognized for his work which showed how an increase in the minimum wage does not necessarily lead to fewer jobs.
His work has since been used by policy makers -- including in the Biden administration's push for a 15 U.S. dollar minimum wage-- though his interpretation of the results is slightly different.

"I think the main thing that's really come out of that, contrary to what everyone thinks, is not that we should raise the minimum wage necessarily, but rather a focus on a different way of thinking about how wages are set."

Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens shared the prize for their framework on the study of these kinds of real-life issues that cannot be investigated through traditional scientific methods.
Combined, their pioneering work using natural experiments could make economics more applicable to people's daily lives, helping policymakers observe actual evidence of the outcomes of their policies.

"In social sciences, it is not possible to have controlled experiments. But their work allows us to achieve sophisticated results similar to what we would get from lab experiments."

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said, the three economists (quote) "completely reshaped empirical work in the economic sciences."

"Natural experiments are everywhere. So thanks to the contributions of the laureates we researchers are today able to answer key questions for economic and social policy and thereby the laureates' work has greatly benefited the society at large."

The award comes with a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor, or some 1.1 million U.S. dollars.
Unlike other Nobel prizes,. the economics award was not established by Alfred Nobel but was created by the Swedish central bank in his memory in 1968.
Kim Sung-min, Arirang News.
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