When labor economist David Card began studying the minimum wage in the 1990’s, conventional wisdom, and economic theory, held that an increase in the minimum wage would lead to job loss. But in a move that revolutionized the way economics could be done, Card and his colleague, Alan Krueger, compared the real world data from a state that raised the minimum wage to one that didn’t, and found that the increase didn’t kill jobs. This “natural experiment” allowed Card to study the effects of policy changes or chance events in a way similar to clinical trials in medicine. Another natural experiment found that an influx of immigrants did not lower the wages of low-skilled native born workers. Forum talks with Berkeley professor David Card about his work, the “credibility revolution” in economics that it spawned and winning, with Stanford professor Guido Imbens and Joshua Angrist from MIT, the Nobel Prize in economics.
Nobel Prize Awarded to Berkeley Professor Who Upended Orthodoxy on Low-Wage Work, Inequality
Card won the 2021 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in developing research tools that help economists to use real-life situations to test big theories. (Photo: UC Berkeley via Getty Images)
David Card , professor of Economics, University of California Berkeley, director of the Labor Studies Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research