Nobel Economy to Claudia Goldin for research on women in the labor market

He also studied participation and pay differentials over more than two centuries

Nobel Prize for Economics 2023 to the American scholar Claudia Goldin, of Harvard University. The award was born from her research on female participation in the labor market, and above all on the differentials in participation and remuneration over the course of more than two centuries.

As explained in the motivation of the Swedish Academy of Sciences – which awarded the prize together with the Bank of Sweden – Goldin, 77 years old, discovered the key factors of gender differences in the labor market, providing the first complete report on wages and participation of women in the labor market over the centuries. Women who – she continues the reasoning – “are largely underrepresented in the global labor market and, when they work, earn less than men”.

The reasons for the award: Goldin discovered key factors in gender differences in the labor market

The scholar – she explains – “showed that female participation in the labor market did not have an upward trend during the entire period, but instead forms a U-shaped curve” with the participation of married women decreasing in the transition from an agricultural to an industrial society in the early 19th century, followed by an increase with the growth of the service sector in the early 20th century. Goldin “explained this pattern as the result of structural change and evolving social norms regarding women’s responsibilities for home and family.” Despite modernization, however, “economic growth and the increasing percentage of employed women in the 20th century, the pay gap between women and men has not closed for a long period of time.” “Understanding the role of women in the world of work is important for society. Thanks to Claudia Goldin’s innovative research we now know much more about the underlying factors and what obstacles we may need to address in the future,” says Jakob Svensson, Chair of the Economic Sciences Prize Committee.

Born on May 14, 1946, Claudia Goldin teaches economics at Harvard University (the first woman to assume this role in the prestigious American university), is co-director of the Gender in the Economy Study Group of the NBER and was director of the program NBER’s Development of the American Economy from 1989 to 2017. Her latest book is Career & Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey into Equity published in 2021 by Princeton University Press.