Claudia Goldin is Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Her research has covered a wide array of topics, including slavery, women in the economy, the economic impact of war, immigration, New Deal policies, inequality, technological change, and education.
She previously held faculty positions at the University of Wisconsin, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania before moving to Harvard. She also held a variety of visiting positions, including The Russell Sage Foundation and the Brookings Institution, and served as the director of the NBER’s Development of the American Economy program from 1989-2017.
Goldin earned her undergraduate degree in economics from Cornell University and her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where she took her first economic history course from Robert Fogel. She found him to be a grand teacher and provocateur and her fellow students awe inspiring. Her first position, at the University of Wisconsin, served as an incubator for her interest in economic history.
Among her many honors are fellowships in the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Society of Labor Economists, the Cliometric Society, and the Econometric Society. Among her fellowships and awards are several NSF grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and grants from the Mellon and Spencer Foundations
She is the author and editor of numerous books and articles. Her book, The Race between Education and Technology, received the R.R. Hawkins Award from The Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers as the outstanding scholarly work in the arts and sciences in 2008, and the Richard A. Lester Prize that same year for the Outstanding Book in Labor Economics and Industrial Relations. Understanding the Gender Gap was also a highly decorated effort. It won both the Allan Sharlin Book Award, presented by the Social Science History Association, and the Richard A. Lester Award, presented by the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton University, in 1990.
Goldin is a highly decorated scholar and teacher. Among her many honors are a 2019 BBVA Frontiers in Knowledge Award for world-class basic research, the IZA Prize in Labor Economics in 2016, and two career achievement awards: the John R. Commons Award in 2010, and the 2009 Mincer Prize for career achievement in labor economics. She has received teaching awards from both Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania.
She has a distinguished service record, having held the position of president of both the American Economic Association and the Economic History Association. She was editor of the Journal of Economic History, and the NBER monograph series, Long-term Trends in American Economic History. She also served on the Social Security Advisory Panel, and as an Advisory Board Member for the Congressional Budget Office.
Goldin has been an inspiration to a generation of female economists, not just economic historians. Besides her scholarly accomplishments, she has become a role model for women. She was the first woman to receive tenure in both the economics departments at Princeton and Harvard.