UC Berkeley professor David Card receives Nobel Prize in economics

photo of David Card
David Card/Courtesy

UC Berkeley professor of economics, David Card was awarded the 2021 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel on Monday.

This will be campus’s sixth Nobel Prize in economics, according to an email sent by campus chancellor Carol Christ.

Card’s research has focused on the relationships between minimum wage changes and employment, and immigration changes and employment. He is credited by colleagues as changing the field of economics completely.

Card himself said the award process itself is “very tiring.” In terms of his future plans, he plans to retire in June 2022 and said his plans after that remain uncertain.

“He fundamentally changed the practice of labor economics, and of economics more generally. Economics used to be primarily a theoretical field,” Jesse Rothstein, campus professor of public policy and economics and Card’s former research assistant said in an email. “David more than anyone else has turned economics into an empirical science.”

Campus assistant professor of economics and professor of business and Card’s former student Sydnee Caldwell said via email Card’s work has shown small fluctuations in minimum wage don’t necessarily correlate with job loss, and how immigration does not necessarily contribute to lower wages.

Card’s research and impact on empirical economics, according to his colleague Patrick Kline, campus professor of economics, has been “groundbreaking.”

“Professor Card’s emphasis on research transparency, reproducibility, and rigor has been extremely influential and has hastened the rise to prominence of empirical economics,” Kline said in an email.

Caldwell decided to change her major to economics after taking Card’s Econ 101A class, and said she was “overjoyed” to hear Card had received a Nobel Prize.

Other colleagues of Card’s such as Rothstein echo Caldwell’s perspective.

“In addition to his massive scientific contributions, David has also been an incredibly prolific and generous advisor and mentor to hundreds and hundreds of students and junior scholars over the years,” Rothstein said in an email.

Contact Molly Cochran at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @mollyacochran .