Columbus native Joshua Angrist was awarded the 2021 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel Oct. 11 for his “methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Angrist, a former professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, won the prize together with Guido Imbens of Stanford University in California and David Carr of the University of California, Berkeley.

“This year’s laureates – David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens – have provided us with new insights about the labour market and shown what conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn from natural experiments. Their approach has spread to other fields and revolutionized empirical research,” according to a statement on the Nobel Prize website.

Angrist immigrated to Israel from the U.S. in 1982 after graduating from Oberlin College in Ohio.

Oberlin President Carmen Twillie Ambar commended Angrist for his groundbreaking work. “We at Oberlin are so proud that the work that he and his fellow researchers conducted will further the discipline of economics,” she said in a news release. “Joshua was an economics major at Oberlin College & Conservatory and graduated with highest honors. We are pleased that Oberlin played a part in shaping his economics career, and that he has continued the Oberlin tradition of graduates who further knowledge for the benefit of others, who make an invaluable contribution to society, and who shape the world for good.”

Angrist told MIT in an interview after winning the award that while his time as a graduate student at Hebrew University was “a big success for me personally because I met my wife ... it wasn’t a big success academically.”

He dropped out and served two years in the Israel Defense Forces before returning to the United States to complete his graduate studies at Princeton.

Angrist would later return to the Hebrew University, however, serving as a senior lecturer in economics from 1991-1995 and as an associate professor in the economics department from 1995-1996, before returning again to the United States. He returned to Hebrew University as a Lady Davis Fellow in 2004-2005, the university said in a statement.

“Congratulations to professor Angrist on being awarded the most prestigious honor in the field of economics,” said Hebrew University President Asher Cohen.

“His prize honors us and is a great privilege for the many Hebrew University students lucky enough to have learned with him.”

JNS contributed to the story.

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