Oct 11, 2021

By Jeremy Logan

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A Canadian is among the three U.S-based economists awarded the 2021 Nobel prize for economics for work on drawing conclusions from unintended experiments, or so-called “natural experiments.”

The winners are 65-year-old Guelph, Ontario native David Card of the University of California at Berkeley; Joshua Angrist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Guido Imbens from Stanford University.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Scienes says the three have “completely reshaped empirical work in the economic sciences.”

Card worked on research that used restaurants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to measure the effects of increasing the minimum wage.

He and his late research partner Alan Krueger found that an increase in the hourly minimum wage did not affect employment, challenging conventional wisdom which held that an increase in minimum wage will lead to less hiring.

Card’s work also challenged another commonly held idea – that immigrants depress wages for native-born workers.

He found that incomes of the native-born can benefit from new immigration, while it is earlier immigrants who are at risk of being negatively affected.

Unlike the other Nobel prizes, the economics award wasn’t established in the will of Alfred Nobel but by the Swedish central bank in his memory in 1968, with the first winner selected a year later.

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