David Card


October 18, 2021

David Edward Card (born 1956) - Canadian economist, professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He mainly deals with the empirical microeconomics of work. It is known for its innovative econometric, quasi-experimental research, the results of which revealed the weaknesses of previously adopted assumptions and theories and helped to develop them. Winner of the 1995 John Bates Clark Medal. Alfred Nobel in Economics for 2021 with Joshua Angrist and Guid Imbens.

Early life and education

Card grew up on his father's farm outside Guelph, Ontario. He began studying physics at Queen's University with a job in a steel mill. He recalls that his interest in economics was fueled by reading a chapter in an economics textbook related to agriculture, which was used by his partner at the time. Over the next few weeks, he read the rest of the book, and decided to change his course of study. Initially, the second choice of subjects was limited by the non-standard course of study. As a result, he found an optional, conducted by lecturers from Princeton, classes in labor economics, which he devoted himself to research. In 1978 he won the title of B.A. at Queen's University. He continued his studies with Orley Ashenfelter at Princeton University, pursuing his PhD in Economics there in 1983.


In the years 1982–1983 Card taught at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Between 1983 and 1997 he was a member of Princeton's staff. In 1997, he moved to California for his wife's career and has been working at the University of Berkeley since then. He was a member of the editorial board of such journals as the Journal of Labor Economics (1988–1992), including the editorial board of Econometrica (1993–1997) and the American Economic Review (2002–2005).

Scientific work

According to the laudation of Clark Medal, and, for example, according to Chetty or Angrist and Pischke, Card is one of the leading people who broke the period of dominance of theoretical analysis and increased the importance of empirical research in economics. In Katz's opinion, "David Card's move to Berkeley has given a run to the modern renaissance of empirical microeconomics." In the research program with which he began and continued over the years, Card empirically validated theories and models of labor supply in the life cycle and in the business cycle. Over the course of his career, he often dealt with unemployment (mechanisms, activation programs, benefits), trade unions (strikes, collective bargaining), and wage determination (stickiness, inequality, etc.). It is also carrying out a series of studies on the effectiveness of expenditure on education, trying to identify this impact independently of confounding variables. Its results demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of education and programs for gifted students and their effectiveness in reducing income and ethnic inequalities. He also studied immigration - initially based on national census data in the US. After the escape, about 125,000 refugees from Cuba to Florida around 1980 (the so-called Mariel Boatlift), Card undertook an analysis of the impact of this event on the local labor market, presenting the results in a text published in 1989. Its results undermined the predictions of simple theories, indicating that immigration did not cause lowering wages or increasing unemployment. In the following years, a number of meta-analyzes, polemics and similar studies by various authors on this subject were created, as well as a 2016 report by the National Academy of Sciences. in line with Card's analysis to be more convincing. In the 1980s, he also published his first works on the minimum wage,

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