Comments on the Prize in Economic Sciences 2021

Published: 2021-10-11

This year’s Laureates of the Prize in Economic Sciences – David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens – have shown that natural experiments can be used to answer central questions for society, such as how minimum wages and immigration affect the labour market.

The laurates have also clarified exactly which conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn using this research approach. Together, they have revolutionised empirical research in the economic sciences. This is according to the official announcement of what is commonly called the ”Nobel Prize in Economics” on October 8, 2021.

What do researchers from Lund University School of Economics and Management (LUSEM) have to say about this year’s Prize?

Comments from LUSEM

Tommy Andersson is a Professor of Economics at LUSEM; and a member of the Committee on the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. While at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, he gives a short comment to LUSEM:

”I think it is a fantastic prize, because the empirical methods that the prize laureates have developed and used in practice will be of great importance for understanding various policy interventions. That is, what should be done in the event of various policy changes? How does an extra school year affect education and incomes; should one increase the minimum wage in a country or not, and so on.”

Learn more about Professor Tommy Andersson’s Nobel Prize activities

Petter Lundborg is a Professor of Economics at LUSEM. He does research is in the fields of health and labour economics and have covered topics such as health and labour market outcomes, education, early life conditions, and household finance. He comments:

”It is a fantastic, well-deserved and important award. These three people have really contributed to us all having much better opportunities to express ourselves about the cause and effect in social science. They have revolutionised the empirical research in Economics during the last 30 years.

They have demonstrated the ability to use natural experiments, as it is called. With their help, we can look at the effects of educational initiatives and at future outcomes for people; look at how immigration affects and changes the labour market, and more.

Their methods are absolutely central today. All economists, who conduct empirical research and who use data at the individual level, use their methods. In my research, I use almost exclusively methods that they have developed, or increased our understanding of.”

Learn more about some of Professor Petter Lundborg’s recent research:

Free and nutritious school lunches help create richer and healthier adults


Press and media questions can be addressed to the people listed on the website of the Department of Economics.

About the prize and further contact details (English)

Om priset och våra kontaktpersoner (Svenska)

From the announcement on October 8, 2021

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2021

with one half to:

David Card
University of California, Berkeley, USA.

“For his empirical contributions to labour economics”

The other half jointly to:

Joshua D. Angrist
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA

Guido W. Imbens
Stanford University, USA.

“For their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships”

Learn more about the laureates and their research on