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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.”

Fast Company

A new study by MIT economists finds that sleeping more may not improve performance or well-being, especially if night-time sleeping is often interrupted, reports Arianne Cohen for Fast Company. “The researchers say their findings suggest that sleep quality may be essential,” writes Cohen. “Participants experienced many nightly sleep interruptions, a saga familiar to anyone who lives with children.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that people tend to follow a predictable travel pattern that remains consistent in countries around the world. The findings could help urban planners “better understand how populations interact with their surroundings, as well as assist city planners with zoning, infrastructure and other development decisions,” writes Hays.

Motherboard

Researchers from the MIT Senseable City Lab have uncovered a new travel pattern in human mobility that remains consistent across four continents, reports Beck Ferreira for Motherboard. “The notion that distance and frequency of visitation are related is in accordance with intuition,” the researchers explain. “What is surprising is that the relationship between these two quantities can be described by a simple and clean mathematical law.” 

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Elizabeth Segran writes that a new study by MIT Prof. Jackson Lu finds that mask wearing is more prevalent in communities in the U.S. with higher levels of collectivism. “It’s important to understand how culture fundamentally shapes how people respond not only to this pandemic, but to future crises as well,” says Lu.

U.S. News & World Report

A new study co-authored by MIT Prof. Jackson Lu finds that a community’s level of collectivism influences whether someone is willing to wear a mask, reports Cara Murez for U.S. News & World Report. “The role of collectivism could be studied in other crises, such as wildfires or hurricanes,” notes Murez, adding that the researchers “felt it would be important to study whether the pandemic itself has affected the sense of collectivism or individualism.”

Forbes

Forbes contributor Peter Greene spotlights a new study co-authored by MIT researchers that examines the long-term effects of universal preschool in Boston. The researchers found, “preschool reduced the likelihood that a student would get in trouble in high school or ever be jailed. And preschool increased the likelihood that students would graduate from high school and that they would go on to attend college.”

GBH

Prof. Evan Lieberman speaks with Craig LeMoult of GBH about his new study, which finds there are mixed reactions when people are informed of the racial disparities in Covid-19 outcomes in the U.S. “We are so interconnected as a society - economically, socially, politically,” says Lieberman, “and [it’s important] to remind everyone that we are all potential vectors for this epidemic so it really behooves all of us to cooperate and to be able to end this pandemic as soon as possible.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Prof. Amy Finkelstein emphasizes the effectiveness of randomized clinical trials. Finkelstein notes that she hopes “truly rigorous testing of social policy will become as commonplace as it is for new vaccines. That would help ensure that government services are delivered as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

Slate

Graduate student Crystal Lee speaks with Slate reporter Rebecca Onion about a new study that illustrates how social media users have used data visualizations to argue against public health measures during the Covid-19 pandemic. “The biggest point of diversion is the focus on different metrics—on deaths, rather than cases,” says Lee. “They focus on a very small slice of the data. And even then, they contest metrics in ways I think are fundamentally misleading.”