An economic historian and Harvard professor, Claudia Goldin, has been awarded with the Nobel Prize in economics for her work examining the gender pay gap.

Goldin’s unprecedented research highlights the fact that women, despite their higher academic qualifications, are paid less than men; and that mostly this difference arises after childbirth.

“This year’s Laureate in the Economic Sciences, Claudia Goldin, provided the first comprehensive account of women’s earnings and labour market participation through the centuries,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said on Monday.

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“Her research reveals the causes of change, as well as the main sources of the remaining gender gap.”

After Elinor Ostrom in 2009 and Esther Duflo in 2019, Goldin is the third woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in economics — a category with the lowest number of female laureates.

Goldin’s research examines data tracing 200 years of women’s participation in the workforce in the United States.

As per her research, a woman’s role in the job market and her pay are, in part, decided by individual decisions, including educational choices, as well as broad social and economic changes.

The prize committee highlights that while much of the earnings gap historically could be explained by differences in education and occupational choices, Goldin “has shown that the bulk of this earnings difference is now between men and women in the same occupation, and that it largely arises with the birth of the first child”.