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Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images

Three U.S.-based researchers were awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for using natural experiments to study the effects of economic policy and other societal questions.

Why it matters: The Nobel committee said David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens have "completely reshaped empirical work in the economic sciences," per AP.

Driving the news: Card, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, received half the award. The other half was shared by Angrist, an MIT professor, and Imbens, a Stanford professor.

  • The prize in part honored Card's research on the labor market with Alan Krueger, a chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under former President Obama who died in 2019.

The big picture: Natural experiments use real-life situations to study the economic impacts of policy decisions.

  • In one influential paper, Card and Krueger studied fast food restaurants along the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania and found that a recent minimum wage hike in one state didn't affect employment.
  • Card also studied the economics of immigration and challenged the belief that migrants depress the wages of blue-collar workers.
  • Angrist and Imbens were honored for their work demonstrating "how precise conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn from natural experiments."

What they're saying: “Card’s studies of core questions for society and Angrist and Imbens’ methodological contributions have shown that natural experiments are a rich source of knowledge. Their research has substantially improved our ability to answer key causal questions, which has been of great benefit to society,” says Peter Fredriksson, chair of the Economic Sciences Prize Committee.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Oct 14, 2021 - Economy & Business

How the minimum wage lost relevance

Data: BLS via RSM US; Chart: Axios Visuals 

The federal minimum wage is now just 28% of average hourly earnings. That's just half its level in 1968, when the ratio was 54%.

Why it matters: The federal minimum is so low — well below the living wage in all states — that it has at this point lost most of its power as an anchoring mechanism.

Biden: "Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been"

President Biden speaks during the 40th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitolon Oct. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaking at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2021 and saluted those who are currently serving.

Driving the news: "We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," Biden said.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.