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Claudia Goldin wins Nobel Prize in Economics

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The Nobel Prize in Economics went to Claudia Goldin, a labor economist who has studied women’s role in the workforce.

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For the third time in 54 years, a woman has won the Nobel Prize in Economics. The prestigious award went to Claudia Goldin yesterday for her research on causes of the gender pay gap and “for having advanced our understanding of women’s labour market outcomes,” according to the prize committee.

Goldin, an economics professor at Harvard University, is the first woman to receive the award on her own rather than share it with men. She’s no stranger to being first: Goldin was also the first woman to receive tenure in the economics department at Harvard.

Uncovering the gender pay gap: Goldin’s groundbreaking research found that the gender pay gap largely coincides with the birth of a first child. A 15-year study of MBA students at the University of Chicago conducted by Goldin revealed that the pay gap began to widen within the first two years after a woman had her first child because women take on the majority of childcare duties, leaving less time for work. “We’re never going to have gender equality until we also have couple equity,” Goldin said in an interview with the New York Times after winning the prize.

Coincidentally, Goldin won the Nobel prize within days of publishing her latest paper, “Why Women Won,” about the women’s movements of the 1970s and why progress has slowed since.—CC