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Nobel Prizes

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The Economist

Prof. Joshua Angrist, one of the winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics, speaks with Rachana Shanbhogue of The Economist’s Money Talks podcast about the evolution of his research and how his work has helped bring the field of economics closer to real life. “I like to tell graduate students that a good scholar is like a good hitter in baseball,” says Angrist of his advice for economics students. “You get on base about a third of the time you’re doing pretty well, which means you strike out most of the time.”

Financial Times

Prof. Joshua Angrist has been named one of the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics for his work developing “a framework showing how precise conclusions about cause and effect could be drawn from natural experiments,” reports Delphine Strauss for the Financial Times. “The committee said this had ‘transformed’ applied work, and was now widely used in economics, and increasingly in other social sciences, epidemiology and medicine,” writes Strauss.

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporters Paul Hannon and David Harrison write that Prof. Joshua Angrist, who won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics along with David Card and Guido Imbens, “helped economists make better use of natural experiments, in which some people are randomly subjected to a policy while others aren’t.” Says Angrist of his work: “Whereas the generation that I’m part of and associated with the credibility revolution, we entered the arena with specific questions in mind and then we had a strategy for answering that question using this idea of natural experiments.”

Associated Press

The Associated Press spotlights the work of Prof. Joshua Angrist, one of the winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize for Economics. Angrist was honored “for working out the methodological issues that allow economists to draw solid conclusions about cause and effect even where they cannot carry out studies according to strict scientific methods.” Of winning a Nobel prize, Angrist said, “I can hardly believe it. It's only been a few hours and I am still trying to absorb it."

Reuters

Prof. Joshua Angrist, Prof. David Card of the University of California at Berkeley and Prof. Guido Imbens of Stanford have been awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics for “pioneering ‘natural experiments’ to show real-world economic impacts,” reports Simon Johnson and Niklas Pollard for Reuters. “The Nobel committee noted that natural experiments were difficult to interpret, but that Angrist and Imbens had, in the mid-1990s, solved methodological problems to show that precise conclusions about cause and effect could be drawn from them,” write Johnson and Pollard.

New York Times

New York Times reporter Jeanna Smialek explores the work of Prof. Joshua Angrist, who was honored as a recipient of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work developing “research tools that help economists use real-life situations to test big theories, like how additional education affects earnings.” Angrist and his fellow recipients David Card and Guido Imbens “ushered in a new phase in labor economics that has now reached all fields of the profession,” said Prof. Trevon D. Logan of Ohio State.

The Boston Globe

Prof. Joshua Angrist was named a winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize for Economics for “a body of work stretching across decades that has sought to answer the complex questions at the crux of modern political discussion through the lens of proven research,” writes Andrew Brinker for The Boston Globe. “It’s just the greatest honor a person could have,” said Angrist. “It’s a high point of my life.”

Financial Times

Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee speak with Financial Times reporter Martin Sandbu about the need for better economic “plumbing,” the shortcomings of policy to address climate change and the state of the profession of economics. Duflo notes that before the pandemic there had been improvement in quality of life around the world, "in part because of more focus on these quality of life issues and, I would argue, a little bit more attention given to plumbing and setting pragmatic objectives and programs as opposed to aiming for some more elusive growth.”

New York Times

Prof. Esther Duflo speaks with Francesca Donner of The New York Times about her views on G.D.P., financial incentives, and how to encourage women to pursue careers in economics. “One of the mistakes made by economists in general was to agree collectively that G.D.P., and perhaps the stock market, is how we acknowledge success in a country,” says Duflo. “G.D.P. measures the value added in a country, but life is so much more than that.”

Ms.

Andrea Ghez ’87 speaks with Carol Stabile of Ms. magazine about the importance of representation in encouraging more women and people of color to pursue careers in STEM fields. Ghez recalls how her science teacher in high school encouraged her to apply to MIT, describing the experience as “'a lovely early lesson in how to persevere,’ that helped her to develop what she described as the muscle to persevere, and to turn problems into opportunities to grow and learn.”

CBS Boston

CBS Boston spotlights how Andrea Ghez ’87 has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for her work discovering a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. “It really represents the basic research - you don’t always know how it is going to affect our lives here on Earth, but it is pushing the frontier of our knowledge forward," says Ghez, "both from the point of view of pure physics (understanding what a black hole is), and then also their astrophysical world in the formation and evolution of galaxies.”

The Boston Globe

Andrea Ghez ’87 has been selected as one of the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for her work advancing our understanding of black holes. "Black holes, because they are so hard to understand, is what makes them so appealing,'' says Ghez. “I really think of science as a big, giant puzzle.”

National Public Radio (NPR)

Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee join NPR’s Planet Money for overrated or underrated, a game in which Banerjee and Duflo, winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, “rate everything from bread to foreign aid to dating an economist.”

Boston Globe

MIT Profs. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo as well as Prof. Michael Kremer of Harvard, who won this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics, will donate their $916,000 in prize money to the Weiss Fund for Research in Development Economics. “The donations will fund research grants that support the work of development economists and students through 2035,” reports Abbi Matheson for The Boston Globe.

Marketplace

Prof. Esther Duflo speaks with Molly Wood, host of the Marketplace Tech podcast, about the ways in which she uses artificial intelligence to enhance her poverty research. Machine learning allows researchers to pinpoint “where the program is the most effective, and therefore where a government with limited budget would want to expand it,” explains Duflo.