'In the footsteps of Professor Jan Tinbergen.'
On 30 June 2022, winner of the 2021 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and former Erasmus School of Economics student Guido Imbens visited his alma mater. During the day he gave an inspirational lecture wherein he discussed the importance of asking the right question and how to study causal effects in real world data sets.
'Professor Imbens' keynote lecture focused on many of the ideas that earned him his Nobel Prize. However, he did not just explain the theory but showed through examples the effect he has had on causal inferences in observational data. Studies included work by himself and by others as well as research with data from both the United States and the Netherlands. While the lecture focused on his economic endeavours, the following interview explored his experiences as a student and his influences on his road to success. As a student, it was fascinating to hear how he has been in a similar position to ourselves; at times struggling through work, not getting accepted to the job one wanted, or the time in-between the chaos of student life one spends having fun with their friends. To hear someone who has succeeded so much in life discuss the challenges he faced; this is really inspiring as it gives hope in the ability of ourselves to perhaps one day achieve a similar feat. The interview also exposed him to be an incredibly humble man in these regards.'
- Jonah Bol, Commissioner of Internal Affairs for study association AEclipse
Nobel Prize laureate
Dutch American Guido Imbens, Professor of Economics and Professor of Applied Econometrics at the prestigious Stanford Graduate School of Business, was awarded the Nobel Prize along with his colleague Joshua Angrist for their research in the mid-1990s into the possibility of so-called natural experiments to explain causal connections.The title of their award-winning research is 'methodological contribution to analysis of causal relationships'.
Guido Imbens is an alumnus of Erasmus School of Economics. He studied Econometrics in Rotterdam from which he graduated in 1983. After that he continued his research career in the United States.
About the lecture
In his lecture, Professor Imbens began with a short history of econometrics. Where he talked about the gradual move from randomized control trials towards leveraging sophisticated methods to identify causal effects from observational data. He continued with discussing some famous examples of econometricians identifying causal relationships in observational data. After his insightful lecture, Jonah Bol, Commissioner of Internal Affairs for study association AEclipse, interviewed Professor Imbens. They discussed Imbens’ time in Rotterdam and the influence Erasmus School of Economics and Professor Jan Tinbergen (1969 Nobel Prize winner) had on his career. By the end of the interview, the audience had the opportunity to ask their questions to the Nobel Prize laureate.
We are proud of Professor Imbens' contributions to the field of economics, and grateful for his words with which he undoubtedly inspired many students. We thank study association AEclipse for the well-organised day.