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Trianon Scientific Communication

The Nobel Prize in Economics 2023 explained

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

The Nobel Prize in Economics 2023 explained and its connection to sustainability

The Nobel Prize in Economics for 2023 is awarded to Claudia Goldin
The Nobel Prize in Economics for 2023 is awarded to Claudia Goldin

The Nobel Prize in Economics for 2023 is awarded to Claudia Goldin for her pioneering research that helps us better understand the relationship between women's participation in the labor market and the overall efficient use of society's resources, as well as its connection to sustainability.

Around the world, about half of women are employed, compared to eighty percent of men.

When women do work, they often earn less than men. This gender disparity in the labor market not only represents a significant societal issue but also results in the underutilization of both labor and expertise.

Claudia Goldin's groundbreaking work has shed light on the historical changes and primary causes behind these gender differences, which continue to persist today.

The U-Shaped curve [1]

Claudia Goldin has demonstrated that the development of the labour market can be described by a U-shaped curve. The proportion of women in the workforce declined during the nineteenth century before starting to rise again in the twentieth.

Contrary to the belief that a country's economic growth naturally leads to more women entering the workforce, Goldin's extensive examination of historical data revealed a surprising fact: women were actively participating in the labor market even before the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century. The rise in women's workforce participation in the twentieth century was influenced by technological advances and the growth of the service sector.

The U shaped curve of women labor
The U shaped curve of women labor

Understanding the gender pay gap

Moreover, Goldin's insights into the development of wages for men and women throughout history are crucial for understanding the gender pay gap. She highlights that, as women shifted from industrial jobs to the service sector and received monthly salaries, wage discrimination increased. This disparity is exacerbated by parenthood, as women often take on more caregiving responsibilities, leading to a significant earnings gap, even when they have the same education and perform the same jobs.

Goldin's research underscores the importance of understanding women's roles in the labor market.

By doing so, society can work towards eliminating the barriers and achieving a more equitable and sustainable future. Her work helps us appreciate the intricate connections between gender dynamics, labor market efficiency, and overall societal sustainability.


[1] DOI: 10.3386/w4707


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