Claudia Goldin, 67, dreamed of becoming an archaeologist or microbiologist until she took an economics course at Cornell University, where she became famous for her advocacy for the advancement of women in the workforce. won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his research.
Golding’s groundbreaking research revealed the causes of gender gaps in labor force participation and earnings. She is the third woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences and the first to win the Nobel Prize as an individual rather than as a share of the prize. She is the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University.
“Her research sheds light on the causes of change and the main sources of the remaining gender gap,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. “Women are severely underrepresented in the global labor market and when they work, they earn less than men.” Crow Claudia Goldin has scoured archives and collected more than 200 years of data in the United States, allowing her to demonstrate how and why gender differences in earnings and employment rates have changed over time.”
Claudia Dale Goldin, 77, was born on May 14, 1946 in the Bronx. She remembers visiting New York’s Museum of Natural History as a child, where she fell in love with mummies. She believed she would study archeology. Given her love of microscopy, she also thought about microbiology.
Before she went to Cornell University, she had never considered majoring in economics in a liberal arts college.
“I decided to become an economist because I took an economics class from an amazing man named (Alfred) Kahn,” she said in a 2020 video hosted online by Cornell University’s Department of Economics Zhong said. Renowned economist Alfred Kahn is best known for his theories on deregulating the airline industry in the late 1970s.
“He’s very excited about industry organizations, product markets and regulatory areas, and it’s contagious,” Goldin said. “In fact, when I went to graduate school at the University of Chicago, I went there to study industrial organization.”
Goldin is an economic historian and labor economist whose research covers women in the labor force, the gender gap in earnings, income inequality, technological change, education, and immigration.
Goldin’s influential papers dealt with women’s pursuit of careers and families, higher education, women’s marital surnames as social indicators, and the impact of contraception on women’s career and marital decisions.
Her latest book, Career and Family: Women’s Centennial Journey to Equality, was published in 2021 by Princeton University Press.
The Swedish Academy says that despite economic growth and the rising share of female employment in the twentieth century, the income gap between women and men has barely narrowed over a long period of time.
That’s because educational decisions that affect lifetime career opportunities are made at a relatively young age, Goldin said. She found that if young women’s expectations were shaped by the experiences of previous generations—for example, mothers returning to work after their children grew up—then economic progress would be slower.
As a result, Goldin says that historically, the gender gap in earnings can be explained by differences in education and career choices.
However, in today’s world, Goldin showed that much of the difference in earnings between women working in the same profession is due to time spent caring for the birth of their first child, the academy said.
“Understanding the role of women in the workforce is very important for society,” said Jakob Svensson, chairman of the Economic Sciences Prize Committee. “Thanks to Claudia Goldin’s groundbreaking research, we now know more about the underlying factors and the barriers that may need to be addressed in the future.”
More than 50 Cornell alumni, faculty and visiting researchers have received Nobel Prizes in various disciplines. These include: Pearl S. Buck ’25, 1938, and Toni Morrison, MS ’55, literature, 1993; Barbara McClintock ’23, MS ’25, Ph.D ’27, physiology 1983 or medicine; Hans Bethe, Physics 1967; Roald Hoffmann, Frank HT Rhodes Professor Emeritus, Chemistry 1981; and Doug Osheroff MS ’71, Ph.D. Physics professor David Lee ’73 and Robert Richardson studied physics in 1996.