Three US economists won on Monday Nobel Prize 2021 for economics for the work of drawing conclusions from unintentional experiments or so-called “nature experiments”.
The winners were David Card from the University of California at Berkeley; Joshua Angrist of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Guido Imbens from Stanford University.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three had “completely redesigned empirical work in economics”.
The trio “provided us with new insights into the labor market and showed what conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect from experiments in nature,” says the press release. “Your approach has spread to other fields and revolutionized empirical research.”
In contrast to the other Nobel Prizes, the Business Prize was not set up in Alfred Nobel’s will, but in 1968 by the Swedish Central Bank in his memory, and the first prize winner was chosen a year later. It is the last prize that is advertised each year.
Last year, the award went to two economists at Stanford University who were grappling with the tricky problem of running auctions more efficiently.
It also created a lovable moment when one had to knock on the other’s door in the middle of the night to wake them up and tell them they’d won.
Last week, the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to journalists Maria Ressa from the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov from Russia for their struggle for freedom of expression in countries where reporters have been subjected to ongoing attacks, harassment and even murder.
The Nobel Prize for Literature went to the UK-based Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah, who was honored for his “uncompromising and compassionate understanding of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee”.
The prize for Physiology or Medicine went to the Americans David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their discoveries of how the human body perceives temperature and touch.
Three scientists won the Physics Prize for work that found order in seeming disorder and helped explain and predict complex forces of nature, including expanding our understanding of climate change.
Benjamin List and David WC MacMillan won the Chemistry Award for finding a simpler, more environmentally friendly way to build molecules that can be used to make compounds, including drugs and pesticides.