Claudia Goldin ’67: Nobel Prize in Economics Winner Shaping
Claudia GoldenClaudia Golden

Claudia Golden: Nobel Laureate in Economics

Claudia Golden ’67, who once dreamed of becoming an expert in ancient history or microbiology before pursuing economics at Cornell, has won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Economics for her research on women’s advancement in individual economic power.

Golden’s groundbreaking research has shed light on the reasons behind gender disparities in participation and earnings in the labor force. She is the third woman to win the Nobel in economics, and rather than sharing the prize, she is the first woman to claim it individually. She is a distinguished professor of economics at Harvard University.

Claudia Golden’s Research on Gender Disparities

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences asserted, “Her research not only uncovers the reasons behind shifts in the gender pay disparity but also illuminates essential mechanisms underlying other gender disparities in the labor market. Women have a significant underrepresentation in the global labor market, and their earnings, when they are employed, tend to be lower than those of men. Claudia Golden has trolled the archives and collected data for over 200 years from the United States, allowing her to demonstrate how and why disparities in income and employment rates have changed over time.”

Claudia Golden’s Unexpected Journey

Claudia Dale Golden, aged 77, was born on May 14, 1946, in the Bronx. During her childhood, she developed a love for museums, particularly the Museum of Natural History in New York, where she had a fondness for fossils. She believed she would study ancient history. Later, her fascination turned towards microbiology.

Until she arrived at Cornell, she never imagined herself excelling in economics while studying at the College of Arts and Sciences.

Claudia Golden’s Inspiring Academic Influences

“I decided to become an economics major because I took a class in economics from Alfred Khan,” she said in a video that aired in 2020, hosted by Cornell’s Department of Economics. The renowned economist Alfred Kahn was famous for his theories that led to airline deregulation in the late 1970s.

Golden said, “His enthusiasm for industrial organization and market structures was so contagious. In fact, when I pursued my graduate studies at the University of Chicago, it was with the intention of specializing in industrial organization.”

Claudia Golden’s Impactful Research and Book

A historian of economic thought and labor economist, Golden’s research encompasses women in the labor force, income disparities, income inequality, technological change, education, and immigration.

Claudia Golden's Impactful Research and Book
Impactful Research

Her influential work delves into women’s careers and families, higher education, and the social implications of women’s career and marriage decisions.

Her latest book, “Career and Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey to Equity,” was published by Princeton University Press in 2021.

Golden’s Insights on Gender Pay Gap

The Swedish Academy noted that despite significant advances in women’s economic progress and labor force participation in the 20th century, the persistent gender pay gap endured for a long time.

Golden attributed this phenomenon to the fact that educational decisions, which have a lasting impact on career opportunities, are made relatively early in life. If young women’s expectations are shaped by the experiences of previous generations – for example, mothers who returned to work after their children grew up – economic progress may be slow, she found.

Claudia’s Insights on Gender Disparities

Thus, historically, Golden suggested that income disparities related to gender can be influenced by educational and career decisions.

However, in today’s world, Golden has demonstrated that a significant portion of the gender earnings gap in the same occupation arises from time taken off for childbirth, according to the Academy.

Svensson on Claudia Golden’s Impact

The head of the Nobel Prize committee in Economic Sciences, Jacob Svensson, stated, “Understanding the role of women in the labor force is crucial for society. Thanks to Claudia Golden’s groundbreaking research, we now have a much better understanding of fundamental factors, and we may need to address these barriers in the future.”

Join Cornell Nobel Laureates

Claudia Golden joins over 50 past Cornell alumni, faculty, and incoming researchers who have received Nobel Prizes in various fields. Notable names include Pearl S. Buck ’25 and Toni Morrison, M.S. ’55, in literature in 1993; Barbara McClintock ’23, M.S. ’25, Ph.D. ’27, in physiology or medicine in 1983; Hans Bethe in physics in 1967; Roald Hoffmann in chemistry in 1981; and Doug Osheroff M.S. ’71, Ph.D. ’73, and David Lee and Robert Richardson in physics in 1996.


  • Why is Claudia Golden Important?

Harvard Professor Claudia Golden has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for her groundbreaking work in addressing economic disparities between men and women, particularly in terms of wages.

  • How do  individualities win Nobel Prizes in Economics?

The Royal Swedish Academy of lores’ Economic Lores Prize Committee is responsible for  selecting  laureates in the field of economics. The commission evaluates appointees and eventually chooses the donors. It’s a rigorous process.

  • What’s the most prestigious award in economics?

The most prestigious award in economics is the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Lores in Memory of Alfred Nobel. It was established in 1968 by the Bank of Sweden and first awarded in 1969, marking a significant  corner 60 times after the  commencement of the Nobel Prizes.

  • Is Claudia Golden married?

Claudia Golden is indeed married. She works alongside her hubby, Lawrence Katz, who’s also a recognized economist at Harvard. They partake in common interests, including a passion for  raspberry- watching and cycling. Their pet is a 13- time-old golden retriever named Pika. still, they don’t have any children.


Claudia Golden, a  colonist in economics,  recently won the 2023 Nobel Prize for her  exploration on gender  difference. Her groundbreaking work illuminates the gender pay gap’s causes and the  part of early education in shaping career  openings. As the first woman to collectively claim this honor, she’s an alleviation in the field.

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