David Card

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David Card
David Card - Nobel prize interview screenshot (cropped).png
Card in 2021
Born1956 (age 6465)
Institution University of California, Berkeley
Field Labour economics
Alma mater Queen's University (BA)
Princeton University (MA, PhD)
Orley Ashenfelter [1]
Thomas Lemieux
Phillip B. Levine
Christoph M. Schmidt
Michael Greenstone
Jesse Rothstein
Philip Oreopoulos
David Lee
Alexandre Mas
Janet Currie
Enrico Moretti
Heather Royer
Elizabeth Cascio
Ethan G. Lewis
Awards John Bates Clark Medal (1995)
Frisch Medal (2008)
BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (2014)
Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2021)
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

David Edward Card (born 1956) is a Canadian American labour economist and professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded half of the 2021 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences "for his empirical contributions to labour economics", with Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens jointly awarded the other half. [2] [3]


Early life and career

David Card was born in Guelph, Ontario, in 1956. [4] His parents were dairy farmers. [5] Card earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen's University in 1978 and his Ph.D. degree in economics in 1983 from Princeton University, after completing a doctoral dissertation, titled "Indexation in long term labor contracts", under the supervision of Orley Ashenfelter. [6]

Card began his career at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, where he was Assistant Professor of Business Economics for 2 years. He was on the faculty at Princeton University from 1983 to 1997, before moving to Berkeley; from 1990 to 1991 he served as a visiting professor at Columbia University. [7] From 1988 to 1992, Card was Associate Editor of the Journal of Labor Economics and from 1993 to 1997, he was co-editor of Econometrica . From 2002 to 2005, he was co-editor of The American Economic Review . [7]

Academic work

In the early 1990s, Card received much attention for his finding, together with his then Princeton University colleague Alan B. Krueger that, contrary to widely accepted beliefs among economists, the minimum wage increase in New Jersey did not result in job reduction of fast food companies in that state. [8] [9] [3] While the methodology (see difference in differences) and its claim have been disputed (see minimum wage for discussion), many economists, including Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, [10] accept Card and Krueger's findings. [11]

David Card has also made fundamental[ peacock prose ] contributions to research on immigration, [12] education, [13] job training and inequality. Much of Card's work centers on a comparison between the United States and Canada in various situations. On immigration, Card's research has shown that the economic impact of new immigrants is minimal. Card has done several case studies on the rapid assimilation of immigrant groups, finding that they have little or no impact on wages. For example, Card studied the economic impacts of the Mariel boatlift, and compared the economic effects in Miami to those in Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles and Tampa, which receive fewer Cuban immigrants. [5] Card found that despite the drastic increase in low-skilled labor in Miami by 7%, wages for the low-skilled workers were not significantly affected. Furthermore, he found that overall unemployment rates and wages for the labor market as a whole in Miami were unchanged by the sudden influx of immigrants. [14] [5] In an interview with The New York Times , Card said, "I honestly think the economic arguments [against immigration] are second order. They are almost irrelevant." [5] This does not imply, however, that Card believes immigration should be increased, merely that immigrants do not pose a threat to the labour market. [5]

Despite the fact that Card sometimes researches issues with strong political implications, he does not publicly take a stand on political issues or make policy suggestions. Nevertheless, his work is regularly cited in support of increased immigration and minimum wage legislation. [15] [14]


He was the recipient of the 1995 John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to "that American economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge" for his work related to the minimum wage as well as the economic effects of the Mariel boatlift. [5] He gave the 2009 Richard T. Ely Lecture of the American Economic Association in San Francisco. A 2011 survey of economics professors named Card their fifth favorite living economist under the age of 60. [16] Along with N. Gregory Mankiw, he was elected vice president of the American Economic Association for 2014. [17]

He has received along with Richard Blundell the 2014 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Economics, Finance and Management category for "their contributions to empirical microeconomics," in the words of the jury's citation. "Motivated by important empirical questions, they developed and estimated appropriate econometric models, making significant methodological contributions in the process. Both are known for their attention to institutional detail, careful and innovative research design, rigorous application of econometric tools, and dispassionate reporting of results." [18]

Card was elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2021. [19] He won the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Sciences in 2021. [3]



Card, David; Krueger, Alan B. (2016). Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage (Twentieth-Anniversary ed.). Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN   9780691169125.

Related Research Articles

Econometrics is the application of statistical methods to economic data in order to give empirical content to economic relationships. More precisely, it is "the quantitative analysis of actual economic phenomena based on the concurrent development of theory and observation, related by appropriate methods of inference". An introductory economics textbook describes econometrics as allowing economists "to sift through mountains of data to extract simple relationships". Jan Tinbergen is one of the two founding fathers of econometrics. The other, Ragnar Frisch, also coined the term in the sense in which it is used today.

Labour economics Study of the markets for wage labour

Labour economics seeks to understand the functioning and dynamics of the markets for wage labour. Labour is a commodity that is supplied by labourers in exchange for a wage paid by demanding firms. Because these labourers exist as parts of a social, institutional, or political system, labour economics is often regarded as a sociology or political science.

A minimum wage is the lowest remuneration that employers can legally pay their employees—the price floor below which employees may not sell their labor. Most countries had introduced minimum wage legislation by the end of the 20th century. Because minimum wages increase the cost of labor, companies often try to avoid minimum wage laws by using gig workers, by moving labor to locations with lower or nonexistent minimum wages, or by automating job functions.

George Akerlof American economist (born 1940)

George Arthur Akerlof is an American economist who is a university professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and Koshland Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. He won the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Dale T. Mortensen American economist

Dale Thomas Mortensen was an American economist and Nobel laureate.

Alan Krueger American economist

Alan Bennett Krueger was an American economist who was the James Madison Professor of Political Economy at Princeton University and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, nominated by President Barack Obama, from May 2009 to October 2010, when he returned to Princeton. He was nominated in 2011 by Obama as chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and served in that office from November 2011 to August 2013. He was among the 50 highest ranked economists in the world according to Research Papers in Economics.

Orley Ashenfelter American economist

Orley Clark Ashenfelter is an American economist and the Joseph Douglas Green 1895 Professor of Economics at Princeton University. His areas of specialization include labor economics, econometrics, and law and economics.

Minimum wage in the United States USA minimum wages by national, state, territory and other subdivision levels

The minimum wage in the United States is set by U.S. labor law and a range of state and local laws. The first federal minimum wage was created as part of the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, but declared unconstitutional. In 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act established it at $0.25 an hour. Its purchasing power peaked in 1968 at $1.60. Since 2009, it has been $7.25 per hour.

Joshua Angrist Israeli American economist

Joshua David Angrist is an Israeli American economist and Ford Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2021 Angrist was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, together with David Card and Guido Imbens. Angrist and Imbens shared one half of the prize "for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships."

IZA Prize in Labor Economics

The Institute for the Study of Labor awards a prize each year for outstanding academic achievement in the field of labor economics. The IZA Prize in Labor Economics has become a highly prestigious science award in international economics, is the only international science prize awarded exclusively to labor economists and is considered the most important award in labor economics worldwide. The prize was established in 2002 and is awarded annually through a nomination process and decided upon by the IZA Prize Committee, which consists of internationally renowned labor economists. As a part of the prize, all IZA Prize Laureates contribute a volume as an overview of their most significant findings to the IZA Prize in Labor Economics Series published by Oxford University Press.

The Employment Policies Institute is a fiscally conservative, non-profit American think tank that conducts and publishes research on employment issues, particularly aimed towards reducing the minimum wage. It was established in 1991 by Richard Berman, and it has been described as "a nonprofit research group that studies issues of entry-level employment."

The Kitagawa–Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition is a statistical method that explains the difference in the means of a dependent variable between two groups by decomposing the gap into that part that is due to differences in the mean values of the independent variable within the groups, on the one hand, and group differences in the effects of the independent variable, on the other hand. The method was introduced by sociologist and demographer Evelyn M. Kitagawa in 1955. Ronald Oaxaca introduced this method in economics in his doctoral thesis at Princeton University and eventually published in 1973. The decomposition technique also carries the name of Alan Blinder who proposed a similar approach in the same year. Oaxaca's original research question was the wage differential between two different groups of workers, but his method has since been applied to numerous other topics.

Alan Manning is a British economist and professor of economics at the London School of Economics.

Causation in economics has a long history with Adam Smith explicitly acknowledging its importance via his (1776) An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations and David Hume and John Stuart Mill (1848) both offering important contributions with more philosophical discussions. Hoover (2006) suggests that a useful way of classifying approaches to causation in economics might be to distinguish between approaches that emphasize structure and those that emphasise process and to add to this a distinction between approaches that adopt a priori reasoning and those that seek to infer causation from the evidence provided by data. He represented by this little table which useful identifies key works in each of the four categories.

Guido Wilhelmus Imbens is a Dutch American economist. In 2021 Imbens was awarded half of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences jointly with Joshua Angrist "for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships", with David Card awarded the other half. He has been Professor of Economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business at Stanford University since 2012.

Joseph Gerard Altonji is an American labour economist and the Thomas DeWitt Cuyler Professor of Economics at Yale University. His fields of interest include macroeconomics and applied econometrics and in particular labour economics, being ranked as one of the foremost labour economists worldwide. In 2018, his contributions to the analysis of labour supply, family economics and discrimination were rewarded with the IZA Prize in Labor Economics.

Thomas Lemieux is a Canadian economist and professor at the University of British Columbia.

Francis Kramarz is a French economist who works as Professor at the École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique (ENSAE), where he has been directing the Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST). He is one of the leading labour economists in France.

Robert John LaLonde was an American economist who specialized in the fields of labor economics and econometrics. He received his A.B. degree from the University of Chicago in 1980. He then attended Princeton University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1985 under the supervision of Orley Ashenfelter. His own Ph.D. students included Brian Jacob. He joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in 1985 as Associate Professor of Industrial Relations at the Graduate School of Business and was a Visiting Associate Professor of The Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies from 1994-1995. In 1995, LaLonde joined Michigan State University as an Associate Professor of Economics for three years. In 1999, he went on to spend the remainder of professional career at the University of Chicago, where he was professor and director of the Ph.D. program in the Harris School of Public Policy. In addition to his academic appointments, he was a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research in 1986, and was a senior staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers from 1987 to 1988. He joined the IZA Institute of Labor Economics as a research fellow in 2001. He was honored with a conference held by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2018. He died on January 17, 2018, after a long illness.

Ellora Derenoncourt is an American economist. She is an assistant professor of Economics in the Department of Economics and assistant professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Her work focuses on Labor Economics, Economic History and the study of inequality. Her research on racial inequality in the United States has been featured on NPR, New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.


  1. "David Card". Edubilla.com.
  2. "The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2021". NobelPrize.org. Archived from the original on October 11, 2021.
  3. 1 2 3 "Canadian-born David Card among 3 winners of Nobel in economics". CBC News. The Associated Press. October 11, 2021. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  4. "David Card – Facts". Nobel Prize . Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "The Immigration Equation" by Roger Lowenstein. The New York Times Magazine, July 9, 2006
  6. Kagan, Sam; Fazel-Zarandi, Mahya (October 11, 2021). "Card GS '83, Angrist GS '89 win Nobel Prize in Economics". Daily Princetonian. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  7. 1 2 "Curriculum Vita ‐ David Card" (PDF). January 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  8. Card, David; Krueger, Alan B. (1994). "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania". American Economic Review . 84 (4): 772–793. JSTOR   2118030.
  9. Card, David E.; Krueger, Alan B. (1997). Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage. Princeton University Press. ISBN   978-0-691-04823-9.
  10. Krugman, Paul (July 17, 2015). "Opinion | Liberals and Wages" via NYTimes.com.
  11. Stiglitz, Joseph (2002). "Employment, social justice and societal well-being" (PDF). International Labour Review. 141 (1–2): 9–29. CiteSeerX . doi:10.1111/j.1564-913x.2002.tb00229.x. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 25, 2006.
  12. Card, David. "Is the new immigration really so bad?", Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  13. Card, David. "Is it worth it to go to college?" Archived March 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  14. 1 2 Pellow, Nicholas (June 16, 2017). "Immigration and Jobs: David Card's Influential Study". Chicago Policy Review. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  15. Lowenstein, Roger. "Why the Next President Should Raise the Minimum Wage". Fortune (February 29, 2016). Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  16. https://econjwatch.org/file_download/487/DavisMay2011.pdf
  17. Lempinen, Edward; Anwar, Yasmin (October 11, 2021). "UC Berkeley's David Card wins 2021 Nobel Prize in economics". UC Berkeley. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  18. "BBVA Foundation Awards Prof. Richard Blundell Frontiers of Knowledge Award". UCL Department of Economics. February 17, 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  19. "2021 NAS Election". www.nasonline.org. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
Academic offices
Preceded by
President of the American Economic Association