Nobel Prize Winner Joshua D. Angrist ’82 to Deliver Commencement Address

May 3, 2022

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Head shot of Joshua Angrist
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of MIT Blueprint Labs

Nobel Prize winner and Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joshua D. Angrist ’82 will deliver the keynote address for the Commencement ceremony honoring the Class of 2022.

Angrist is the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, a cofounder and director of MIT’s Blueprint Labs, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. A dual United States and Israeli citizen, Angrist taught at Harvard and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem before joining the MIT faculty in 1996. Angrist earned his bachelor's degree in economics at Oberlin in 1982 and completed his Ph.D. in economics at Princeton in 1989.

Angrist has developed innovative ways to harness the power of natural experiments to answer important economic questions, transforming empirical research. These new econometric tools help social scientists and policy-makers discover the causal effects of choices and policy changes. Angrist’s research is not only methodological. In dozens of studies, he explores the economics of education and school reform; the impact of social programs on the labor market; and the labor market effects of immigration, regulation, and institutions.

Angrist received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 2021 (with Co-Laureates Guido Imbens and David Card). He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society, and has served on many editorial boards and as a coeditor of the Journal of Labor Economics. Angrist received an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) in 2007.

An accomplished author, Angrist coauthored Mostly Harmless Economics: An Empiricist’s Companion and Mastering Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect with Steve Pischke. These are among the most widely used econometrics texts and are certainly the funniest. Through this work and their ongoing scholarship, Angrist and Pischke hope to bring undergraduate econometrics instruction out of the Stones Age.

Angrist will receive an honorary doctor of social science degree. The college will also present honorary degrees to American composer and musicologist George E. Lewis, renowned organ builder John Brombaugh, and Mercy Health Medical Director Dr. James Anthony ’75. Oberlin will posthumously award a Diploma of the Ladies’ Course to Mary Edmonia Lewis. The full bios of speakers and award recipients can be found on the commencement website. The Commencement ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 5.

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