Claudia Goldin, an American economic historian and labour economist has become the third woman to be awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
This was announced on Monday by Hans Ellegren, secretary-general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
It follows the awards in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, and peace that were announced last week.
Goldin, who is 77 years old and a professor of economics at Harvard University, won the award for advancing the understanding of the gender gap in the labour market. Only two of the 92 economics laureates honoured have been women since the award was created in 1969.
“Understanding women’s role in the labour market is important for society. Thanks to Goldin’s groundbreaking research, we now know much more about the underlying factors and which barriers may need to be addressed in the future,” Jakob Svensson, chair of the Committee for the Prize in Economic Sciences, said in a statement.
It said the economist does not offer solutions, but her research allows policymakers to tackle the entrenched problem.
“She explains the source of the gap, how it’s changed over time, and how it varies with the stage of development. And therefore, there is no single policy. So it’s a complicated policy question because if you don’t know the underlying reason, a certain policy won’t work,” it added.
The economics award was created by Sweden’s central bank and is formally known as the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
Last year’s winners were Douglas Diamond, Philip Dybvig, and Ben Bernanke for their research into bank failures that helped shape America’s aggressive response to the 2007-2008 financial crisis.