3 economists have been awarded the Nobel for their work on 'natural experiments'

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Three U.S.-based economists are sharing this year's Nobel memorial prize for their work on "natural experiments" which get around the need for controlled experiments.
3 economists have been awarded the Nobel for their work on 'natural experiments'



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During the pandemic, we've heard a lot about how clinical trials work. Some people get a vaccine while others get a placebo. Researchers then compare the groups to see how effective the treatment is. In economics, that kind of controlled experiment is not practical or ethical, but economists have found ways to solve those issues, and three of them are sharing in this year's Nobel Prize. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Textbook economics suggests when you raise the minimum wage, some workers lose their jobs. But an accidental experiment in the 1990s upended that conventional wisdom. New Jersey raised its minimum wage, while neighboring Pennsylvania did not. By comparing employment in fast food restaurants on both sides of the state line, economist David Card and the late Alan Krueger showed higher wages did not cost…
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