PODCAST: “Hexapodia” Is þe Key Insight XXIX: Þe Swedish Central Bank Prize in Honor of Alfred Nobel Podcast

Noah Smith & Brad DeLong's 30:00 < [Length of Weekly Podcast] < 60:00


Key Insights:

  1. Paul Feyerabend was right—science is whatever scientists do: anything goes. But what healthy sciences that survive and flourish and good scientists do is put first and foremost discovering what actually is and making theories to understand reality. So Kuhn and Popper are also right.

  2. Economics has not been much of a science. But this Card, Angrist, Imbens—and Krueger—Nobel Prize marks a very big possible improvement in this respect.

  3. Keep at it! Keep doing your work no matter the brickbats, and you may, someday, look back and recognize that you have changed the world.

  4. Pets are good: they drive you to “become the person your dog thinks you already are”.

  5. Hexapodia!



  • The London Economist has an excellent interview with two of our three Nobel Prize winners this year—David Card and Josh Angrist. If you want to know why we economists respect them so much and are cheering their Nobel Prizes so loudly, follow the link: Joshua Angrist, Ryan Avent, David Card, & Rachana Shanbhogue : A Real-World Revolution in Economics: ‘THIS YEAR’s Nobel prize celebrates the “credibility revolution” that has transformed economics since the 1990s. Today most notable new work is not theoretical but based on analysis of real-world data.... How their work has brought economics closer to real life…<https://www.economist.com/nobelpod2021?utmcampaign=editorial-social&utmmedium=social-organic&utm_source=twitter>

  • This is, I think, the best single thing to read about the Card, Angrist, Imbens Economics Nobel Prize: Noah Smith: The Econ Nobel We Were All Waiting for: ‘To predict who will win the Econ Nobel... list the most influential people in the field who haven’t won it yet.... Assume... micro theorists won’t win... two years in a row.... The ones whose influence is the oldest are the most likely to win.... For years, this method led lots of people—including me—to predict a Nobel for David Card. His 1994 paper with Alan Krueger on the minimum wage was a thunderbolt.... Since then, Card has been at the forefront of empirical labor.... Angrist and Imbens’ impact... though also high... came later.... I wouldn’t have been surprised had they won the prize in later years. But Card was clearly overdue. Perhaps the reason it took this long was that Card’s conclusions in his famous minimum wage paper were so hard for many in the field to swallow.… At the time, Card and Krueger’s finding seemed revolutionary and heretical. In fact, other researchers had probably been finding the same thing, but were afraid to publish their results, simply because of their terror of offending the orthodoxy...

The Econ Nobel we were all waiting for
“And new philosophy calls all in doubt, The element of fire is quite put out, The sun is lost, and th'earth, and no man's wit Can well direct him where to look for it.” — John Donne The 2021 Econ Nobel went to David Card, Joshua Angrist, and Guido Imbens…
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