David Card


October 28, 2021

David Card, born 1956, is a Canadian labor economist, and professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He is known for his use of the method of natural experiments to identify the effect of immigration or even the minimum wage on the labor market.


David Card obtained his Bachelor of Arts from Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario) in 1978 and his Ph.D. in Economics in 1983 from Princeton University. Between 1988 and 1992, Card was Managing Editor of the Journal of Labor Economics. From 1993 to 1997, he was co-editor of the journal Econometrica. He won the Doug Purvis Prize from the Canadian Economics Association in 1994, and the John Bates Clark Medal in 1995. In the early 1990s, Card and his then-Princeton colleague Alan Krueger rose to prominence as a result of a minimum wage study. Card and Krueger challenge one of the most widely accepted conclusions among economists, that raising the minimum wage automatically causes the unemployment rate to rise. By studying the evolution of employment in fast food restaurants in New Jersey and the bordering states before and after the increase in the minimum wage in New Jersey, they conclude that this increase had no impact on the level of employment in this branch. Card and Krueger's conclusions are not universally accepted, but they enjoy considerable credit among most economists, such as Joseph Stiglitz. Using a similar method, Card also shows that a sudden wave of immigration may have no effect on the unemployment rate. During the 1980 Mariel exodus, nearly 130,000 refugees left Cuba for the United States, half of whom settled in Miami. The exodus is a natural experiment making it possible to measure the absorption capacity of an economy (here, the city of Miami) to an external shock (the sudden and unforeseen increase in the population). In his study, Card compares the evolution of the unemployment rate and wages in Miami with four other cities with similar characteristics, but not affected by the exodus. If, between April and July 1980, the unemployment rate rose sharply, from 5% to 7.1%, the study covering the period 1979-1981 reached the opposite conclusion: in Miami, it fell by 1.2 points (from 5.1 to 3.9%), while in the control cities, it decreased by only 0.1 point (from 4.4 to 4.3%). For the black population (the least qualified and a priori the most vulnerable to this new competition), the increase in the unemployment rate is lower in Miami than in the control cities. The results are similar for salaries. Card's conclusions run counter to the idea that the quantity of work is fixed, a critique that can be used to challenge theories in favor of work sharing; however, in the case he is studying, the number of consumers increases, which increases demand [ref. desired]. Card makes other significant contributions on the subject of immigration, education, vocational training and inequality. In October 2021, he jointly received the Nobel Prize in economics.

Honors and rewards

David Card won the John Bates Clark Medal in 1995 and shared, with Alan B. Krueger, the 1996 IZA Young Labor Economist Award. He is one of the three winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics along with Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens.

Notes and references

(fr) This article is partially or entirely taken from the English Wikipedia article "David Card" (see list of authors).

External links

David Card's personal page David Card's CV Research Resources: Googl

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