Claudia Goldin, A Professor Of Havard Wins The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences

Claudia Goldin, the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University has received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences Research. 

According to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, her research work identifies the drivers of gender differences in the labor market. 

According to the statement following the award, Goldin has “collected over 200 years of data from the U.S., allowing her to demonstrate how and why gender differences in earnings and employment rates have changed over time.”

“When I first started working on this subject, I realized that most economic historians were studying child labor, or they were studying the labor of men,” said Goldin, the Henry Lee Professor of Economics. 

“But they didn’t really know what women were doing. And so that’s what I worked out.”

She is only the third woman to win the prize and the first to do so solo.

“Claudia Goldin is a pioneering economist,” said Harvard President Claudine Gay. 

“Her groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of the gender wage gap and patterns of women’s participation in the labor market have helped deepen awareness of these issues and made progress possible. The entire Harvard community sends our congratulations to Professor Goldin for this remarkable achievement.”

Hopi Hoekstra, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, echoed Gay’s praise.

“Through Professor Goldin’s groundbreaking, far-reaching research, we come to understand how the demands of balancing career and family are experienced personally, in individual lives, but in a broader context,” Hoekstra said. 

“With the long view of a historian and the exacting precision of an economist, she reveals both the enormous gains made by women in the workplace over time and the many ways in which true equity remains out of reach. I am thrilled to see Professor Goldin and her work recognized in this way.”

Goldin searched for novel data sources throughout her career, from 1930s sex-segregated job listings to 18th-century business directories that told fuller stories about women’s income-generating activities outside the home.

Goldin earned her bachelor’s in economics from Cornell University before completing her graduate studies at the University of Chicago. 

“I worked on many different subjects in the field of economic history before I discovered my true calling … which was the study of women and gender,” she said at the press conference.