Nobel economics prize for research on women’s employment

Nobel economics prize for research on women’s employment

US economist Claudia Goldin

10-10-2023 · News

SWEDEN. US economist Claudia Goldin has been awarded the Nobel economics prize for her work examining labour market inequality between men and women.

It is the second Nobel prize this year to shine the spotlight on women. Last week, human rights activist Narges Mohammadi won the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran.

Goldin is only the third woman to receive the Nobel economics prize. Dating back to the 1980s, her extensive historical and economic research examined why fewer women work than men, why they earn less than their male counterparts and why there is a glass ceiling.

Obtaining the historical data proved to be difficult. Goldin had to dig deep into the archives to find information, which she then also had to interpret. The results, however, shed new light on history.

U-shaped

Her research found that women’s labour market participation did not ‘continually increase’ during the last two centuries. Instead, the curve is U-shaped. In the 1800s, married women started to work less after the arrival of industrialisation. Their employment did not pick up again until later as the service economy grew.

Goldin found that women's labour participation does not keep pace with economic growth. Her research showed that this is influenced by all manner of laws, cultural opinions and circumstances. The arrival of the contraceptive pill, for example, was very important, allowing women to make further strides.

There is still a ‘gender pay gap’, which can no longer be blamed on women’s educational levels or career choices. Goldin showed that the defining moment for the emergence of the earnings gap is when couples first have a child.

The body responsible for awarding the prize in economic sciences said that thanks to her research, we know much more about the underlying factors and barriers we need to address in the future.

In Memory

Officially, there is no Nobel Prize in Economics. This award was established by Sweden’s central bank ‘in Memory’ of Alfred Nobel. The recipients are awarded an equal monetary prize as traditional Nobel laureates of 11 million Swedish krona (950 thousand euros).

The prize, formerly known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences, was first awarded in 1969. The first prize was shared by two individuals: Dutch economist Jan Tinbergen and Norwegian economist Ragnar Frisch. In 1975, Tjalling Koopmans shared the prize with a Russian economist. Two years ago, the prize was won by a third Dutch economist: Guido Imbens, together with a Canadian and an American.

HOP, Bas Belleman

 

Translation: Taalcentrum-VU

 

Author: Redactie

Photo: Shutterstock

Categories: News, Science
Tags: nobel prize,economics,women

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