Claudia Goldin is the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University and co-director of the NBER's Gender in the Economy Study Group. From 1989 to 2017 she was the director of the NBER's Development of the American Economy program. Goldin is an economic historian and a labor economist. Her research has covered a wide array of topics, such as slavery, emancipation, the post-bellum south, women in the economy, the economic impact of war, immigration, New Deal policies, inequality, technological change, and education. Most of her research interprets the present through the lens of the past and explores the origins of current issues of concern. In the past several years her work has concerned the rise of mass education in the United States and its impact on economic growth and wage inequality. More recently she has focused her attention on college women's achievement of career and family.
She is the author and editor of several books, among them Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women (Oxford 1990), The Regulated Economy: A Historical Approach to Political Economy (with G. Libecap; University of Chicago Press 1994), The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century (with M. Bordo and E. White; University of Chicago Press 1998), and Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History (with E. Glaeser; Chicago 2006), and The Race between Education and Technology (with L. Katz; The Belknap Press, 2008), winner of the 2008 R.R. Hawkins Award for the most outstanding scholarly work in all disciplines of the arts and sciences. Her most recent book is on Career & Family: Women's Century-Long Journey toward Equity (Princeton University Press, 2021).
Goldin is best known for her historical work on women in the U.S. economy. Her most recent papers in that area have concerned the history of women's quest for career and family, coeducation in higher education, the impact of the "pill" on women's career and marriage decisions, women's surnames after marriage as a social indicator, and the reasons why women are now the majority of undergraduates. She has recently embarked on a wide ranging project on the family and career transitions of male and female graduates of selective universities from the late 1960s to the present.
In 2007 Goldin was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was the Gilman Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Society of Labor Economists (SOLE), the Econometric Society, and the Cliometric Society. In 2009 SOLE awarded Goldin the Mincer Prize for life-time contributions to the field of labor economics. Goldin completed her term as the President of the Economic History Association in 2000. In 1991 Goldin was a Vice President of the American Economic Association. From 1984 to 1988 she was editor of the Journal of Economic History and is currently an associate editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics and a member of various editorial boards. She is the recipient of various teaching awards. Goldin received her B.A. from Cornell University and her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
She joined IZA as a Research Fellow in January 2011 and received the 2016 IZA Prize in Labor Economics.