Goldin Wins Nobel Prize for Studies of Women in Workplace
Harvard University labor economist and historian Claudia Goldin, 77, won the Nobel Prize in Economics women in the workforce.
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Now here is a bright spot in this week’s news. Harvard University labor economist and historian Claudia Goldin, 77, not only became one of three women in history to win the Nobel Prize in Economics – she did it for her groundbreaking research on women in the workforce.
Goldin was recognized by the Nobel Committee for her extensive work on the drivers of female labor force participation, which has changed over time, often in unexpected or surprising ways (see graphic, bottom), and for advancing the understanding of gender gaps in the workplace.
Praising Goldin’s portfolio of research, Jakob Svensson, chair of the Committee for the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, said, “Understanding women’s role in the labor market 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.”
Acknowledging there is no silver bullet to address the underlying issues of workplace gender gaps – which also include pay gaps and hiring biases – Randi Hjalmarsson, a member of the prize committee, said of Goldin, “She explains the source of the gap, and how it’s changed over time and how it varies with the stage of development. And therefore, there is no single policy” to fix it. “It’s a complicated policy question, because if you don’t know the underlying reason, a certain policy won’t work.”
Hjalmarsson added, “By finally understanding the problem and calling it by the right name, we will be able to pave a better route forward.” He said Goldin’s discoveries have “vast societal implications.”
For those interested in reading more of Goldin’s work, check out her paper published just this month, “Why Women Won,” chronicling the evolution of women’s legal rights.