Today in principles we discuss the labor chapter of Hubbard and O’Brien — I have decided to shift labor ahead of the firm bc otherwise it’s impossible for me to get to it. Suitable that a Nobel went for labor yesterday. Question though — this seems like a prize for empiricism
There’s been tons of those too. Friedman won it for work on the consumption function. I was going to go through and mark each win as theory, econometrics or empiricism but started watching television. So I hesitate to say this without checking more.
And furthermore I think it’s a mistake to say this is an unusual empirical prize just bc it fits my own empirical worldview. But I was thinking nonetheless abt how Bates Clarks awards increasingly selecting on rigorous quantitative applied work (eg Finkelstein, Donaldson).
And I wondered — we have been seeing a shift from theory to applied work occurring gradually for decades. It’s accompanying rise in the availability of digitized datasets, improved (and less expensive) computing power, readily available software
It’s also been fueled by things like the randomization and quasi-randomization solutions to the LaLonde (1986) critiques in which design based solutions were seen as possible ways of identifying various important scientific and policy parameters like ATE and elasticities
Which got me to my point. I see Angrist, Card and Krueger personally as a fork in history, at least with regards to micro. It was a widely influential program too — “applied Microeconomics” is just another name for “being influenced by Card, Angrist, Krueger and others”.
At least in terms of favoring design based solutions to confoundedness and selection. I will therefore predict that many future nobel winners will be drawn from a group of people who are, like Card and the rest, running regressions for lack of a better word
That’s the broader trend I see. the JBC winners are people like Melissa Dell and Donaldson, Finkelstein, Chetty — people primarily working with very large and complex often admin data or proprietary data as both objects of interest and substitutes for theory
Anyway my point is that i wonder if this is the start of more prizes that will given to people whose publishing records and scholarship overall is much more empirical as a share of their total output than we had been accustomed to

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More from @causalinf

14 Oct
I always wonder things like “would Einstein or Nash have made as important work if they’d been born now and still became a scientist or mathematician?” Like was it *them* or was it *then*? I think the same abt this award 1/n
Just thinking about Princeton. One thing people maybe don’t appreciate is that while the three winners are now at MIT, Berkeley and Stanford, the award quite frankly is an award to Princeton and it’s post 1970s empirical labor group.
Albert Rees, an important empirically oriented labor economist in this period at Princeton, advises Orley Ashenfelter. Orley advises LaLonde, Card and Angrist. LaLonde’s paper ends up in AER questioning the credibility of non-experimental analysis of programs at that time
Read 12 tweets
14 Oct
Thinking abt how basic the subpopulations of complier, defier, never taker and always taker has become to how my brain thinks. I don't even question those categories; that's how I think now. I hope the prize spreads many of our basic causality tenets. 1/n
One of the things Angrist and Imbens, but also Card too, really helps us understand isn't just causal inference, but also heterogeneity and its sources. Even in experiments, estimated effects of some treatment may not be what we think it is if noncompliance and heterogeneity 2/n
If such basic ideas were more common, it could help both the public and others think about even randomized experiments slightly differently, asking questions we hadn't thought to ask, and exploring the heterogeneity as best we can. 3/n
Read 16 tweets
12 Oct
Many economists, particularly the newer generation, are actually not pro-award. But I like awards. I haven’t missed an academy award since I was a kid. Me and my mom grew up watching it and it was a special time for me. I don’t think we give enough awards in fact
I believe in efficient award giving — we should give awards Up to the point where the social marginal benefit of the last award given is equal it’s social marginal cost. Who cares? It’s fun. We all get together and banter and complain and say this award is even a real one!
I think I may start the “best economist who works on sex work” right now. The inaugural award for “best economist working on sex work” goes to @mardelgiu who has tirelessly worked on the theoretical role of stigma in the organization of sex markets.
Read 5 tweets
11 Oct
Just finished reading this wonderful explanation of the award. This was fun to read because for better or for worse it’s exactly what I would’ve attempted to say, even down to most of the same examples. The mixtape is like a 600 page version of it in fact nobelprize.org/uploads/2021/1…
I bet it’s cool to see yourself cited in this like @arindube (several times) and @CdeChaisemartin . Even leniency design gets a section. Its kind of glaring too that this is an award for work done on IV, not just causal inference, bc it’s very focused on Imbens LATE papers
It’s obviously more than that, and LATE itself is not just something we associate with IV mind you. It’s explicitly one of the parameters in @CdeChaisemartin and D’Haultœfle fuzzy did restud paper for instance. It’s everywhere bc LATE is not estimator specific
Read 5 tweets
21 Sep
I'm going to try something new with regards to my workshops. Usually I will do a workshop on site. So for instance, a department or firm will invite me to come out and do a 2 or 3 day workshop on causal inference. 1/n
These are a lot of fun as I go to the university or to another country even and run a workshop, meet people, visit a new place, and get to interact with faculty and students while spreading the good news of reduced form econometrics and the Rubin causal model.2/n
But this only reaches those departments who are willing to bring me out. I continue to want to help reach students and faculty who may not necessarily be in departments willing or able to host me. I also was thinking I want to work more broadly within industry.3/n
Read 13 tweets
21 Sep
For those who are interested, last year's finishing times are presented below. Let me also recap the winners briefly. Apologies if I miss tagging you; I tried and failed on the first so am not going to try again. But feel free to retweet. #AEA5k
100% sample: Females: 1st Devon Gorry (Clemson, 20:07); 2nd Nicole Gorton-Caratelli (UCLA, 20:36); 3rd Ashley Langer (Univ. of Arizona, 21:38).

Males: 1st Feidhlim McGowan (Trinity College, 15:52); @njkacher (Scripps College, 16:58); 3rd Kevin J. Egan (Univ of Toledo, 17:41)
25% sample:

Females: 1st Nicole Gorton-Caratelli (UCLA, 20:36); 2nd Brenda Samaniego de la Parra (UC Santa Cruz, 24:27); 3rd Luisa Blanco (Pepperdine, 26:42)

Males: 1st Isaac Sorkin (Stanford, 17:42); 2nd Sebastian Otero (Stanford, 21:09); 3rd Andrei Munteanu (McGill, 22:15)
Read 17 tweets

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