Congrats to Card, Angrist, and Imbens!

The Nobel Prize for Economics got announced and I was pleased to hear it went to David Card, Josh Angrist, and Guido Imbens. Among the best picks in years, I think.

A lot will be written elsewhere about the many things they did, but what I want to honour them for is that I know all three of them as very pragmatic economists. They advocate pragmatic econometric methods over unnecessarily complicated ones (Angrist and Imbens), and broadly informed methodology to look at important issues (Card). They are almost ‘old style’ in their methods and thinking, where methods are picked to help the questions, big issues trump small issues, and policy relevant innovation trumps theoretical niceties. Congrats!

I also had a look at what each three said about lockdowns. I might have missed it, but I didn’t find them having any stated opinion at all about them. That is second-best from my point of view, but probably the best I could have hoped for in these times. I like to think the Swedish Academy thought the same!

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derrida derider
derrida derider
1 month ago

Fancy giving it to Angrist and Imbens but not Judea Pearl for work on causal relations! Angrist has done really good work here and elsewhere (I’m not so familiar with Imbens’ stuff), but surely Pearl with his graph theory is the go-to guy in this particular field. “Causality” (the book) is a triumph of formalism, demonstrating how highly theoretic epistemology and mathematics can/should be used to improve empiric work by practicing social scientists.

Maybe the Swedes didn’t want to give it to him because he’s Israeli with known hardline political views.

Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
1 month ago

Judea Pearl will get his reward pretty soon I think. They probably did not want to dilute his glory. Thought I must say that I lost several IQ pooints in reading his impenetrable tome, Causality. Shakespeare, he ain’t.

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