The jury awards the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Economics, Finance and Management to professors Richard Blundell and David Card for their contributions to empirical microeconomics. Motivated by important empirical questions, they (and their various coauthors) developed and estimated appropriate econometric models, making significant methodological contributions in the process. Both Blundell and Card are known for their attention to institutional detail, careful and innovative research design, rigorous application of econometric tools, and dispassionate reporting of results.
Blundell has provided an integrated treatment of consumption and employment decisions to estimate labor supply elasticities, to analyze the effects of tax reforms, and to document and explain the divergence between income and consumption inequality. He has studied the non-monotonic effect of competition on innovation, and has also contributed new econometric methods to study cross-sectional and panel data on individuals, households and firms.
Card has examined issues such as labor supply and demand, immigration, returns to education, welfare programs, the impact of unions and minimum wages on labor market outcomes, and health care. He has been a pioneer in the use of natural and quasi-natural experiments to isolate causal effects and has led empirical researchers to pay greater attention to the source of identifying variation in key explanatory variables.
Their work has had a large following and has promoted evidence-based policy on major issues such as taxation, welfare and pension reform, inequality, and product market regulation.