Two Bay Area professors were named Nobel Prize winners in economics Monday and will share both the distinction and the prize money that comes with being a Nobel laureate.
University of California, Berkeley, professor David Card and Stanford University professor Guido Imbens were both awarded the prize – formally called the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel – by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Card, who was honored with the award for “his empirical contributions to labour economics,” will receive half of the prize while Imbens and his research partner Joshua Angrist, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will receive the other half.
Card said Monday during a virtual news conference that UC Berkeley has been “a great source of rejuvenation” for him after spending the first half of his career working at Princeton University.
“There’s a continuing flow of new ideas and new people, and people that are enthusiastic and really want to learn and push the frontiers in many different directions, and I’ve really benefitted from that,” Card said.
The three laureates will share a prize total of 10 million Swedish krona, equating to roughly $1.14 million.
Although economics was not one of the original Nobel Prize categories as outlined in Alfred Nobel’s will, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards prizes in economics with the same gravitas as the Nobel Prizes that have been awarded since 1901.
Imbens, in a virtual news conference of his own to discuss receiving the prize, said Stanford has been “an incredibly hospitable environment” for his research since he joined the university in 2012.
Imbens and Angrist received the prize for “their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships,” according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
“I was just shocked,” to receive the prize, the 58-year-old Imbens said. “Typically, the people winning these prizes have been much further along in their careers. People often get this very late, so I certainly did not expect this to come any time soon.”
Imbens added that while his work is often more theoretical than that of Card or Angrist, their work has been “a great source of inspiration,” for him.
Imbens is the 20th living Nobel laureate at Stanford and the 35th overall, according to university President Marc Tessier-Lavigne.
Card, meanwhile, is the 6th Nobel prize winner within UC Berkeley’s Department of Economics, university Chancellor Carol Christ said.
“The science of economics and the work of professor Card has shaped our understanding of the most critical issues of our time: wages, immigration, the value of higher education, and gender and race disparities in labor markets,” Christ said.
Video of the full announcement awarding Card, Imbens and Angrist with the prize can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUTRasDkXK0.