• Announcement
  • October 9, 2023

Congratulations to Claudia Goldin on being awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

This year's Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Claudia Goldin for her research on women’s labor market outcomes.

Goldin, the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University, was named the 2023 recipient of the award from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday.  She becomes just the third woman to recieve this honor. Goldin served as president of the AEA in 2013, as well as vice-president in 1991, and she was named an AEA Distinguished Fellow in 2014.


By Editing1088 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=138640342Claudia Goldin


Goldin's tireless and decades-long explorations of archives and collection of over 200 years of US data laid the foundation for demonstrating how and why gender differences in earnings and employment rates have changed over time.

She found that employment among married women decreased in the early nineteenth century, as the economy moved away from agriculture and toward industry. But in the early twentieth century, women's participation in the labor market began to increase with the growth of the service sector. Goldin showed that this pattern was the result of structural change and the evolution of social norms related to women’s responsibilities for home and family.

Women’s education levels increased significantly during the twentieth century, and Goldin explained how access to the contraceptive pill played an important role by creating new career-planning opportunities. However, in spite of the increased labor participation by women, the earnings gap between women and men narrowed only slightly during this time period. Goldin's work showed how this was caused by factors including slow-changing expectations for women's occupational choices.

While historically, differences in education and occupation choices explain much of the gender gap in earnings, Goldin's research shows that the pay gap in the twenty-first century can be largely explained by differences between men and women in the same occupation, and that it generally arises with the birth of the first child.

"Understanding women's role in the labour is important for society. Thanks to Claudia Goldin's groundbreaking research we now know much more about the underlying factors and which barriers may need to be addressed in the future," says Jakob Svensson, Chair of the Committee for the Prize in Economic Sciences.

Read the full announcement.