Harvard Economist Claudia Goldin Wins Nobel Prize for Studying Gender Inequality

Claudia Goldin

Stockholm: Claudia Goldin, a professor of economics at Harvard University, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 2023 for her pioneering work on understanding the causes and consequences of gender differences in the labor market. She is the first woman to receive the prize solo and the third woman to receive it overall.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the prize on Monday in Stockholm, praising Goldin for collecting and analyzing over 200 years of data from the U.S. to show how and why women’s earnings and employment rates have changed over time and across countries. Her research has shed light on the factors that affect women’s choices and opportunities in education, work, family, and health.

Goldin’s research has revealed that gender gaps in earnings and employment are not only influenced by discrimination, but also by social norms, institutions, policies, and technological changes. She has shown how women’s labor force participation increased with the expansion of education, the availability of birth control pills, and the decline of gender segregation in occupations. She has also examined how women’s careers are affected by their family responsibilities and preferences, and how flexible work arrangements can reduce the penalty for working part-time or taking time off.

Goldin has also contributed to other fields of economic history, such as immigration, income inequality, technological change, and education. She has mentored many students and colleagues who have become leading scholars in economics. She has served as the president of the American Economic Association and the Economic History Association and as the editor of the Journal of Economic History.

Goldin said she was “surprised and very happy” to receive the prize, which comes with a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (about $1.1 million). She will also receive a gold medal and a diploma at a ceremony in Stockholm in December.

Claudia Goldin

The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was established in 1968 by the Swedish central bank in memory of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite and founder of the Nobel Prize. It is not one of the original five prizes that Nobel specified in his will, but it is widely regarded as the most prestigious award in economics. The first woman to win the prize was Elinor Ostrom in 2009, followed by Esther Duflo in 2019.