Economist Claudia Goldin, known for her work at Harvard University and as a contributor to Education Next, honored with Nobel Prize.

Photo of Claudia Goldin
Claudia Goldin has been honored with the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for her groundbreaking work on understanding the gender gap in the labor market.

On Monday, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Claudia Goldin, an economist at Harvard and a contributor to Education Next, has been awarded the prestigious honor. Goldin, who holds the Henry Lee Professor of Economics position in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, received the recognition for her research on the changing role of women in the labor market and her investigation of the gender wage gap in the United States.

Goldin’s illustrious journey towards the Nobel Prize began with her curiosity about the income-generating activities of women in the early years of the nation. Despite their designation as “housewives” on census forms, she discovered evidence of their employment outside the home. By analyzing data, she was able to track and measure the wage disparities between men and women over a span of 250 years. Her findings, which demonstrate the fluctuations in the gender wage gap, are presented in her recent book titled Career and Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey toward Equity (Princeton University Press, 2021).

Professor Goldin has made notable contributions to Education Next on two occasions. In her article “The Human Capital Century” (research, Winter 2003), she discusses the impact of the expansion of secondary education on the U.S. economy and income inequality. Additionally, she wrote a book review titled “Paying More for Less” (book reviews, Winter 2018) for Tressie McMillan Cottom’s publication Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy.

The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, established in 1968 by the Sveriges Riksbank in memory of Alfred Nobel, has been awarded 55 times to 93 laureates. Previous Education Next contributors who have received this honor include Esther Duflo, Michael Kremer, and Milton Friedman. Claudia Goldin makes history as the third woman laureate in economics and the first woman to win the prize individually.

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