©Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Nobel Prize lessons – Prize in economic sciences 2021

Natural experiments help answer important questions

Teacher’s guide

A Swedish version of the lesson is available at nobelprizemuseum.se

This is a step-by-step timetable for the Nobel Prize lesson – a ready to use lesson on the 2021 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. The lesson is designed to take 45 minutes.

A new tool in the chemist’s toolbox

Natural experiments help answer important societal questions
If we want to make good decisions, we need to understand the consequences of our choices. That’s important for all of us, whether we’re private citizens or elected officials or others in positions of power. This year’s economic sciences laureates have demonstrated that natural experiments can be used to answer important societal questions, such as how raising the minimum wage affects unemployment and how the length of a person’s education affects their income later in life. Their methods have spread to other areas of research and have revolutionized empirical research.

Teacher’s Guide (PDF 30Kb)

1. Warm-up (5 min)
Ask your students the following questions.

  • What is the Nobel Prize?
  • Why is it called the Nobel Prize?
  • Are you familiar with any Nobel Prize laureate?

2. Show the video about Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prize (5 min)

3. Slideshow (15 min)
Show the slides, using the speaker’s manuscript.

Slideshow (PDF 2,1 MB)

Speaker’s Manuscript (PDF 350 Kb)

4. Show the interview with an expert in the field  (2 min)

5. Student worksheet (10-15 min)
Let your students work individually with the questions and then discuss their answers with a classmate.

Student Worksheet (PDF 100 Kb)

6. Conclusion (5 min)
Summarise what you and the class have understood, and what you have not understood. You can work with the latter on another occasion.

Links for further information
Press release for the 2021 prize in economic sciences
Popular information for the 2021 prize in economic sciences


To cite this section
MLA style: Nobel Prize lessons – Prize in economic sciences 2021. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2021. Mon. 18 Oct 2021. <https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel-prize-lessons-economic-sciences-2021/>