MDRC Congratulates David Card, Joshua Angrist, and Guido Imbens on Receiving the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics


On October 11, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that David Card, Joshua Angrist, and Guido Imbens had been awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences:

This year’s Laureates…have provided us with new insights about the labour market and shown what conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn from natural experiments. Their approach has spread to other fields and revolutionised empirical research.

David Card is best known for his groundbreaking work on labor economics, notably a natural experiment he conducted with Alan Krueger challenging the notion that raising the minimum wage led to lower employment rates. Josh Angrist and Guido Imbens were cited for their advances in using natural experiments and other methodological innovations to understand the value of education on labor market outcomes.

MDRC is pleased to have collaborated with Card (and the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation) in the 1990s on a random assignment evaluation of Canada’s Self-Sufficiency Project, which demonstrated that a temporary earnings supplement for former recipients of public assistance substantially increased both their employment rates and their income. Card and Angrist have both served as reviewers of MDRC’s findings and methods over the years, always helping to make MDRC and its work stronger.

“On behalf of the MDRC Board of Directors and staff, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to these three brilliant innovators and teachers, who have advanced our ability to understand the causal influences behind policies that seek to promote social mobility,” said MDRC President Virginia Knox.