2021 Nobel Prize Awarded To U.S.-Based Economists For Analyzing Labor Market

By Siladitya Ray, Forbes Staff


Canada-born David Card, Israeli American Joshua D. Angrist and Dutch American Guido W. Imbens were awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics on Monday for their work on labor economics and drawing conclusions from natural experiments.

Canadian David Card, Israeli-American Joshua Angrist and Dutch-American Guido Imbens won the Nobel Economics Prize for insights into the labour market and "natural experiments", the jury said. TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Images

Key Facts

In its press release, the Nobel Committee hailed the three economists noting that their work has “spread to other fields and revolutionized empirical research.”

Card, of University of California, Berkley, received one half of the prize and the other half was shared between Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Angrist and Stanford University’s Guido Imbens.

Card received the honor for his work analyzing the labor market effects of minimum wages, immigration, and education.

Angrist and Imbens were awarded the prize for their work in the mid-90s which demonstrated how precise conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn from natural experiments.

The winners of the 2021 Nobel Prizes will receive a gold medal and share 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.14 million).

Crucial Quote

“Card’s studies of core questions for society and Angrist and Imbens’ methodological contributions have shown that natural experiments are a rich source of knowledge,” Peter Fredriksson, the chair of the Nobel Economic Sciences Committee said after announcing the winners. “Their research has substantially improved our ability to answer key causal questions, which has been of great benefit for society.”

Surprising Fact

One of Angrist’s doctoral students, French-American economist Esther Duflo, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2019 alongside Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer.


Monday’s annoucement means that this years Nobel Prizes featured only one woman laureate—Filipino journalist Maria Ressa who won the peace prize along with Russia’s Dmitry Muratov. Last year four women, Louise Glück, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer A. Doudna, and Andrea M. Ghez, had won the presigious prize for their works in the field of literature, chemistry, and physics.

Further Reading

3 US-based economists receive economics Nobel Prize (Associated Press)

Nobel in economics goes to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens. (New York Times)

What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.