Natural experiments use real-life situations to work out impacts on the world, an approach that has spread to other fields and revolutionised empirical research.
David Card currently works at the University of California, Berkeley; Joshua Angrist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge and Dutch-born Guido Imbens at Stanford University.
“I was just absolutely stunned to get a telephone call, then I was just absolutely thrilled to hear the news,” Imbens said on a call with reporters in Stockholm, adding he was thrilled to share the prize with two of his good friends. Angrist was best man at his wedding.
The prize, formally known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, is the last of this year’s crop of Nobels and sees the winners share a sum of 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.14 million).
Card took half the prize “for his empirical contributions to labour economics”, the academy said. Angrist and Imbens shared the other half “for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships”.