Claudia Goldin, a professor at Harvard University, won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Economics this Monday for her studies on the gender gap in the labor market.
Hans Ellegren, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, announced the award in Stockholm. Goldin is only the third woman among the 92 winners in the economics category.
“Understanding the role of women in the labor market is important for society. Thanks to Claudia Goldin’s pioneering research, we now know much more about the underlying factors and what barriers may have to be addressed in the future,” explained Jakob Svensson, Chairman of the Prize Committee in Economic Sciences.
Goldin doesn’t offer solutions, but her research allows policymakers to address the deep-rooted problem, said Randi Hjalmarsson, a member of the award committee.
“She explains the origin of the gap, how it has changed over time and how it varies with the development phase. And therefore, there is no single measure,” Hjalmarsson said. “It is a complicated political issue because if you do not know the underlying reason, a specific measure does not work.”
However, “by finally understanding the problem and calling it by its proper name, we will be able to carve a better path forward,” Hjalmarsson said, adding that Goldin’s discoveries have “huge societal implications.”
The 77-year-old researcher was “surprised and very, very happy” to learn that she had been awarded, Ellegren said.
The award is the last of the Nobel Day that began last week with the announcement of the winners of the categories of Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Literature and Peace.
The Economics Prize was established in 1968 by the Swedish central bank and is officially known as the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
Last year’s winners were former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Douglas W. Diamond and Philip Dybvig for their research into bank failures that helped shape the aggressive U.S. response to the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008.