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An open letter to Claudia Goldin



“I didn't know one could have any kind of feeling towards Nobel Prize announcements besides indifference but I was actually quite excited and happy when I saw who was this years' winner.”


“I think that we were all fighting for this moment - the ultimate recognition of female brilliance and acceptance that econ is much more than just central banks, stock market and fiscal policy.”


Many of us have been - consciously or subconsciously - waiting year after year until Claudia Goldin (or another woman in general), would win the Nobel Prize. Goldin’s win is an event that cannot be overstated both because of the topic of her research but also with her being a role model to a large community of “Women in Economics'”. When we talk with women in the field, we understand how truly important this prize is for them. To put it in the words of one of our members: “What really made my day was seeing so many economists sharing my excitement. This really shows how stellar Claudia Goldin is.” 


We therefore asked our members “What does Claudia Goldin's Nobel win mean to you?”. The themes that are running through the responses is a feeling of “thankfulness” of our community to Claudia for how inspiring she and her work is, hope for a brighter future in terms of gender parity in the field, but also seeing work on gender economics in itself being accredited more relevant in the profession. 


From highschoolers to PhD students, senior lecturers and professors, our members share the perception of this win definitely being one of the highlights this year.


So what’s next? We couldn't agree more with one respondent shouting: “This gives me so much hope for the future! Thank you, Claudia!”. Goldin comes from a cohort of 5% women across the US in the graduation year of her PhD (as per IDEAS/RePEc). Now, women are upwards of 25% of a graduating PhD cohort. The representation of women has been rising and so we will likely see more women economists in the spotlight in the future. Today we see Goldin with this recognition when she was a mere 5%, so we can only imagine what the recognition and representation will look like as time continues.


Nowadays, roughly a quarter of those in economics are women, which is up significantly from when Claudia was at the same career stage as many of those writing the sentiments above. As a field which concerns itself with the workings of society, it’s important to have both men and women working to answer our most pressing questions. Goldin’s win and the positive emotions which followed signifies the coming waves of women showing their perspectives, strength, and excitement to contribute across the field of economics. 



 Here is what our community says to Claudia:

"It felt like all the work we were doing suddenly became relevant. Suddenly, the people within economics who didn't used to think of our field as mainstream started putting up messages, and it brought so much happiness that I can't explain. Thank you, Claudia. Thanks Professor."


“It's a wonderful day to be a wanna-be economist, makes me feel that all the efforts to create a different research world, one that includes female researchers and studies how non-male individuals vs others live in our society, are worth it” - Predoc


"Thanks for showing the world that women fight for a fair cause in terms of inequality! Love your dog!! Sincerely, A woman economist!”


"As many, I am very excited about Claudia Goldin‘s Nobel. I love her research and she clearly is an incredible role model for so many in the profession. What really made my day was seeing so many economists sharing my excitement. This really shows how stellar Claudia Goldin is. I think it also shows something else: we lack role models like her. Seeing how influential a single person has been for generations of economists is truly great but also leaves you wonder where we would stand today if the share of female laureates was higher than 3/93." - PhD student


"Dr. Claudia Goldin's Nobel Prize profoundly inspires me as an economist and policymaker for Colombia. It all began with my undergraduate research on gender wage disparities in various economic sectors. This curiosity led me to explore the role of occupations and industries in the Colombian labor market's gender wage gap, culminating in my master's thesis and publication, ""Decomposing The Gender Pay Gap in Colombia: Do Industry and Type of Workers Matter?"" My research unveiled the intricate relationship between the gender pay gap among self-employed individuals and factors like wage discrimination, premium gaps, temporal flexibility, and unpaid work, echoing Dr. Goldin's work in ""A Grand Gender Convergence: Its Last Chapter"" (2014). I continued to explore gender-related economic issues, such as the impact of VAT taxes and the care economy on gender gaps in the labor market.

Today, with Dr. Goldin's Nobel Prize, it's a poignant reminder of the significance of our work as female economists. We stand as essential lenses within a predominantly male-dominated economic landscape; her recognition resonates deeply with us. It symbolizes our representation in the academic sphere, reinforcing our sense of importance and motivating us to persist in our quest for more nuanced explanations of gender disparities in the labor market and, crucially, how to address them effectively. 

Yet, it is intriguing to note that, in the wake of Claudia Goldin's Nobel Prize, many male economists have been notably reticent in their celebrations and acknowledgments, a departure from previous years. This prompts us to ponder why this might be the case. Do they perceive these issues as less significant, or are there other underlying reasons? These questions pose a unique opportunity for reflection within the field, sparking a meaningful dialogue on the priorities and perspectives that shape our economic discourse.” - Graduate Student


“This is definitely one of the highlights this year! I was so happy, proud, grateful! It felt that for the first time ever, the institutions have given (econ) women the equal opportunity to compete with (econ) men. So far, we were fighting to increase the share of female economists, we were chasing statistics, trying to demonstrate our force and competence in numbers. I think that we were all fighting for this moment - the ultimate recognition of female brilliance and acceptance that econ is much more than just central banks, stock market and fiscal policy. This gives me so much hope for the future! Thank you, Claudia! 🙏”


“It‘s absolutely great to finally see her super important contributions in the area of gender economics getting the recognition they deserve. Finally something to point to and say „See, gender topics are important.“ !”


"As a high school student interested in pursuing a path in economics in the future, I think Goldin's win is extremely inspiring. At the same time, it is pretty shocking that Goldin is only one of three female laureates in this field and the first solo winner. Her win speaks to how far the field of economics has come in terms of diversity and inclusion, and still how much work needs to be done. Her win is monumental, and comes during a time of much needed representation in male dominated fields. I'm really excited to see what's next in economics!” - High School Senior


"It means a lot to me. I used the U shape hypothesis of Claudin Goldin as a major theory for my PhD thesis (An economic analysis of female labour force participation: evidence from selected Africa countries) bagged in 2018. It was as if i was off the track, given my area of research (gender and economics) and none seems to be aware of the hypothesis. It felt all strange then. But now it has brought me to the lime light. I am delighted. Kudos to you Prof. More wins for you.“ - Senior Lecturer


“Her winning the Nobel Prize is great in two respects - first, there have not been many women in economics winning the Nobel Prize. Second, her area of work, gender issues in general, has often been considered not so important in the field. So, getting a Nobel Prize for this work also helps the field to gain more respect.” - Professor 


“I didn't know one could have any kind of feeling towards Nobel Prize announcements besides indifference but I was actually quite excited and happy when I saw who was this years' winner. This matters not only in terms of representation, but much more importantly in terms of honoring the importance of her work, her methods, her contribution and above all, of the topic she has brought into the spotlight. While we understand much better today compared to fifty years ago what drives gender-based differences in the labor market, we still have a very long way to go to address these gaps. Firmly establishing their existence, however, was the first step towards creating equality. I hope we honor this achievement by continuing to make steps towards understanding and removing gender gaps in all areas of life!” - PhD student 


“Thanks to Claudia Goldin and her research, economic agents are not just some abstract representative agents but individuals who have a (social) gender. This is important because without acknowledging that people are behaving within the boundaries of their gender and expectations society holds towards men and women, we would have left so many important questions undressed and unanswered. She opened that door to knowledge, and I am glad, so many have followed her path. The countless research projects on the role of women in the labor market have a real impact on policy and people's life.” - Assistant Professor 


“Claudia’s win is worthy of emulation. May we be her someday and we bless her for being a role model to most of us.” - Anonymous 


“Thank you for all your efforts in shedding light on the history of women in career and family." - Research Analyst 


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