A Nobel for What?

The Nobel Prize in Economics was announced this week. As usual, Alex Tabarrok has a great description of the contributions of the winners. But I have seen a number of commentators, mostly on “the right,” question this award, especially for David Card. Mostly they have focused on the highlighting of Card’s paper (with the late Alan Krueger) on minimum wages, saying that this paper has been heavily criticized and debunked, or as evidence that “economics has degenerated into socialist propaganda.”

Yikes! If true, these are serious charges against a profession in decline.

But hang on. What’s really going on with the award for David Card? Again, Tabarrok sums it up nicely: “what really made the paper great was the clarity of the methods that Card and Krueger used to study the problem.” What was this clarity?

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