Claudia Goldin

Claudia Goldin
Harvard University | Harvard · Office of Technology Development

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203
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (203)
Article
The gender earnings gap is an expanding statistic over the lifecycle. We use the LEHD Census 2000 to understand the roles of industry, occupation, and establishment 14 years after leaving school. The gap for college graduates 26 to 39 years old expands by 34 log points, most occurring in the first 7 years. About 44 percent is due to disproportionat...
Article
A new life cycle of women's employment emerged with cohorts born in the 1950s. For prior cohorts, life-cycle employment had a hump shape; it increased from the twenties to the forties, hit a peak, and then declined starting in the fifties. The new life cycle of employment is initially high and flat, there is a dip in the middle, and a phasing out t...
Article
We study employers' perceptions of the value of postsecondary degrees using a field experiment. We randomly assign the sector and selectivity of institutions to fictitious resumes and apply to real vacancy postings for business and health jobs on a large online job board. We find that a business bachelor's degree from a for-profit online institutio...
Article
Human capital is the stock of skills that the labor force possesses. The flow of these skills is forthcoming when the return to investment exceeds the cost (both direct and indirect). Returns to these skills are private in the sense that an individual’s productive capacity increases with more of them. But there are often externalities that increase...
Technical Report
The Panel of expert actuaries, economists and demographers appointed by the Social Security Advisory Board is charged with providing technical assistance to the Board by reviewing the assumptions specified by the Board of Trustees of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Disability Insurance Trust Fund and the methods used by the S...
Article
We examine whether online learning technologies have led to lower prices in higher education. Using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, we show that online education is concentrated in large for-profit chains and less-selective public institutions. We find that colleges with a higher share of online students charge lower t...
Article
The converging roles of men and women are among the grandest advances in society and the economy in the last century. These aspects of the grand gender convergence are figurative chapters in a history of gender roles. But what must the "last" chapter contain for there to be equality in the labor market? The answer may come as a surprise. The soluti...
Article
Robert W. Fogel was a visionary economic historian, generous mentor, and eternal optimist whose works and lectures have informed and incited for more than half a century and whose writings will continue to do so for decades to come. He died on June 11, 2013 in his eighty-sixth year. He had co-taught a graduate course at the University of Chicago th...
Article
The most prominent feature of the female labor force across the past hundred years is its enormous growth. But many believe that the increase was discontinuous. Our purpose is to identify the short- and long-run impacts of WWII on the labor supply of women who were currently married in 1950 and 1960. We use mobilization rates for various groups of...
Article
For-profit, or proprietary, colleges are the fastest-growing postsecondary schools in the nation, enrolling a disproportionately high share of disadvantaged and minority students and those ill-prepared for college. Because these schools, many of them big national chains, derive most of their revenue from taxpayer-funded student financial aid, they...
Article
Throughout history, many types of labor arrangement have involved the use of coercion. While the determinants of coercion have been studied extensively, less is known about the consequences of coercion for human capital accumulation. First, we develop a model of labor market coercion under an elite-controlled regime, and show that it depresses the...
Article
Pharmacy has become a female-majority profession that is highly remunerated with a small gender earnings gap and low earnings dispersion relative to other occupations. We sketch a labor market framework based on the theory of equalizing differences to integrate and interpret our empirical findings on earnings, hours of work, and the part-time work...
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We use administrative data from five states to provide the first comprehensive estimates of the size of the for-profit higher education sector in the U.S. Our estimates include schools that are not currently eligible to participate in federal student aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act and are therefore missed in official counts...
Article
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Private for-profit institutions have been the fastest-growing part of the U.S. higher education sector. For-profit enrollment increased from 0.2 percent to 9.1 percent of total enrollment in degree-granting schools from 1970 to 2009, and for-profit institutions account for the majority of enrollments in non-degree-granting postsecondary schools. We...
Article
The authors study the pecuniary penalties for family-related amenities in the workplace (e.g., job interruptions, short hours, part-time work, and flexibility during the workday), how women have responded to them, and how the penalties have changed over time. The pecuniary penalties to behaviors that are beneficial to family appear to have decrease...
Article
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Theoretical work on disciplining corrupt agents has emphasized the role of promised future rents (e.g. efficiency wages) but not of illicit future rents. Yet when opportu-nities for future rent extraction increase, agents should extract less rent today in order to preserve those opportunities. We study this "golden goose" effect in the context of a...
Article
Family and Population in Nineteenth-Century American. Edited by HarevenTamara K. and VinovskisMaris A.. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978. Pp. xiv, 250. $25.00 cloth, $9.75 paper. - Volume 39 Issue 4 - Claudia Goldin
Article
The English Parliament's struggle for supremacy in the seventeenth century was crucial for the development of representative government in the English-speaking world, yet its lessons continue to be debated. This paper provides the first sys-tematic evidence on the determinants of individuals' decisions to join the coalition for revolutionary reform...
Article
Europe experienced a "Commercial Revolution" in the late Middle Ages. We present new data that document this transformation using information on city incorporation and market establishment. We then test whether universities played a causal role in expanding economic activity, examining the consequences of their exogenous establishment in Germany fo...
Article
This paper uses the NLS and CPS to document the remarkable changes in lifecycle wages for women born from the 1920s to the 1950s. Using birth-cohort by state-of-residence variation in access to "the Pill" before age 21, our results show that women with earlier access to the Pill earned lower wages in their twenties as they invested in human capital...
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The careers of MBAs from a top US business school are studied to understand how career dynamics differ by gender. Although male and female MBAs have nearly identical earnings at the outset of their careers, their earnings soon diverge, with the male earnings advantage reaching almost 60 log points a decade after MBA completion. Three proximate fact...
Article
Under British Master and Servant law, employee breach of contract was a criminal offense between 1351 and 1875, punishable by fines and imprisonment. We examine the economic motivation behind employees' breach of contract, and its prosecution by employers in 19th century Britain. We develop a model of risk-sharing between employers and employees th...
Article
The history of coeducation in U.S. higher education is explored through an analysis of a database containing information on all institutions offering four-year undergraduate degrees that operated in 1897, 1924, 1934, or 1980, most of which still exist today. These data reveal surprises about the timing of coeducation and the reasons for its increas...
Article
Many theories, most famously Max Weber's essay on the "Protestant ethic," have hypothe-sized that Protestantism should have favored economic development. With their considerable religious heterogeneity and stability of denominational affiliations until the 19th century, the German Lands of the Holy Roman Empire present an ideal testing ground for t...
Article
Joyce Burnette's (2008) book investigates why women earned lower wages and had different occupations than men during the Industrial Revolution in Britain. Of more relevance in the present is why women often have lower earnings than and work in different occupations from men today. The answers from the past and present have some similarity, but the...
Article
This paper assesses the contribution of employment location to neighborhood change and to gentrification. At the tract level, average household income change is positively correlated both with the change in average pay for nearby jobs and with the start-year average pay for nearby jobs. The relationship between employment location and neighborhood...
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This paper assesses the relative importance of various explanations for the gender gap in career outcomes for highly-educated workers in the U.S. corporate and financial sectors. The careers of MBAs, who graduated between 1990 and 2006 from a top U.S. business school, are studied to understand how career dynamics differ by gender. Although male and...
Article
This paper analyzes the impact of the 1930's American Dust Bowl and, in par-ticular, investigates how much the short-term costs from erosion were mitigated by long-term adjustments. Exploiting new data collected to identify low, medium, and high erosion counties, estimates indicate that the Dust Bowl led to substantial im-mediate decreases in agric...
Article
We argue that tastes can be understood as the result of utility maximizing behavior in the distant past. This previous maximizing behavior may have long-lived consequences, which we usually take as tastes or preferences. As the old maximization problem depends critically on old relative prices, we use old relative prices to endogenize tastes, overc...
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I examine the impact of taxation on family labor supply and test economic models of the family by analyzing responses to the Tax Reform of 1991 in Sweden, known as the "tax reform of the century" because of its large magnitude. Using detailed administrative panel data on approximately 11% of the married Swedish population, I …nd that husbands and w...
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Full-text available
We present the first estimates of the returns to years of schooling before 1940 using a large sample individuals (from the 1915 Iowa State Census). The returns to a year of high school or college were substantial in 1915 about 11 percent for all males and in excess of 12 percent for young males. Education enabled individuals to enter lucrative whit...
Article
The U.S. wage structure evolved across the last century: narrowing from 1910 to 1950, fairly stable in the 1950s and 1960s, widening rapidly during the 1980s, and “polarizing†since the late 1980s. We document the spectacular rise of U.S. wage inequality after 1980 and place recent changes into a century-long historical perspective to understand...
Article
U.S. educational and occupational wage differentials were exceptionally high at the dawn of the twentieth century and then decreased in several stages over the next eight decades. But starting in the early 1980s the labor market premium to skill rose sharply and by 2005 the college wage premium was back at its 1915 level. The twentieth century cont...
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This paper uses the introduction of barbed wire fences to the American Midwest in the late 19 th century to estimate the effects of property rights on farmers' production decisions. Farmers were both formally and informally required to build fences to secure exclusive land-use rights, yet preferred wooden fences had been prohibitively expensive in...
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Claudia Goldin is one of the world’s leading economists and economic historians, and has made a series of outstanding and original contributions particularly to the cliometric (or ‘The New Economic History’) literature. In this interview, Professor Goldin discusses with Brian Snowdon (who first provides a background introduction) several impo...
Article
Productivity growth in virtually all west European countries exceeded that of the United States throughout the period 1950 to 1995. Since then American productivity performance has strengthened and that of the EU has weakened. The most important reason is contrasting experiences with Information and Communications Technology (ICT). The article argu...
Article
Women are currently the majority of U.S. college students and of those receiving a bachelor’s degree, but were 39 percent of undergraduates in 1960. We use three longitudinal data sets of high school graduates in 1957, 1972, and 1992 to understand the narrowing of the gender gap in college and its reversal. From 1972 to 1992 high school girls narro...
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This paper provides evidence that daughters make people more left-wing. Having sons, by contrast, makes them more right-wing. Parents, politicians and voters are probably not aware of this phenomenon --nor are social scientists. The paper discusses its economic and evolutionary roots. It also speculates on where research might lead. The paper ends...
Article
The modern economic role of women emerged in four phases. The first three were evolutionary; the last was revolutionary. Phase I occurred from the late nineteenth century to the 1920s; Phase II was from 1930 to 1950; Phase III extended from 1950 to the late 1970s; and Phase IV, the "quiet revolution," began in the late 1970s and is still ongoing. T...
Article
Can historical patterns of inter-ethnic trade have lasting effects on religious tolerance? Two centuries after the decline of Muslim overseas trade, this paper finds that medieval ports, despite being poorer and more ethnically diverse, were twenty-five percentage points less likely to experience a Hindu-Muslim riot, both throughout India (1850-195...
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Despite recent corporate scandals, the United States is among the world’s least corrupt nations. But in the nineteenth century, the degree of fraud and corruption in America approached that of today’s most corrupt developing nations, as municipal governments and robber barons alike found new ways to steal from taxpayers and swindle investors. I...
Article
We can have a meaningful discussion today about "women at the top" only because of a quiet revolution that took place 30 years ago.
Article
The United States today, according to most studies, is among the least corrupt nations in the world. But America's past was checkered with political scandal and widespread corruption that would not seem unusual compared with the most corrupt developing nation today. We construct a "corruption and fraud index" using word counts from a large number o...
Article
A free and informative press is widely agreed to be crucial to the democratic process today. But throughout much of the nineteenth century U.S. newspapers were often public relations tools funded by politicians, and newspaper independence was a rarity. The newspaper industry underwent fundamental changes between 1870 and 1920 as the press became mo...
Article
The career and family outcomes of college graduate women suggest that the twentieth century contained five distinct cohorts.' Each cohort made choices concerning career and family subject to different constraints. The first cohort, graduating college from the beginning of the twentieth century to the close of World War I, had either family or caree...
Article
This paper tracks the fraction of college graduate women who kept their surnames upon marriage and after childbirth and explores some of the correlates of surname retention. Data from the New York Times, Harvard College alumni books, and Massachusetts birth records are used. Surname retention at marriage greatly increased from 1975 to about 1985 al...
Article
This paper estimates mortality and fertility rates prevailing in Ireland during the 25-year period before the Great Irish Famine of 1845-1849. A technique is developed to estimate the age-specific mortality level during the Famine and the number of Famine-related deaths. The paper concludes that fertility rates were declining during the period 1821...
Article
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In the three decades from 1910 to 1940, the fraction of U.S. youths enrolled in public and private secondary schools increased from 18 to 71 percent and the fraction graduating soared from 9 to 51 percent. At the same time, state compulsory education and child labor legislation became more stringent and potentially constrained secondary-school aged...
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By the mid-nineteenth century school enrollment rates in the United States exceeded those of any other nation in the world and by the early twentieth century the United States had accomplished mass education at all levels. No country was able to close the gap until the last quarter of the twentieth century. For much of its history U.S. education wa...
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The fraction of U.S. college graduate women entering professional programs increased substantially just after 1970, and the age at first marriage among all U.S. college graduate women began to soar around the same year. We explore the relationship between these two changes and the diffusion of the birth control pill (“the pillâ€) among young, unm...
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In the past two decades gender pay differences have narrowed considerably and a declining significance of gender has pervaded the labor market in numerous ways. This paper contends that in the first several decades of the twentieth century there was a rising significance of gender. The emergence of gender distinctions accompanied several important...
Article
Full-text available
The fraction of U.S. college graduate women entering professional programs increased substantially just after 1970, and the age at first marriage among all U.S. college graduate women began to soar around the same year. We explore the relationship between these two changes and the diffusion of the birth control pill ("the pill") among young, unmarr...
Article
America led other nations by a wide margin in the provision of general, formal education to the masses and did so because of characteristics -virtues -that were shaped by New World endowments and republican ideology. Almost all of these virtues are now being questioned, and in the twenty-first century an entirely new set of virtues could emerge.
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This article investigates the extent to which exam performance at the end of compulsory education has been affected by three major education reforms: the introduction of a quasi-market following the Education Reform Act (1988); the specialist schools initiative introduced in 1994; and the Excellence in Cities programme introduced in 1999. Using a p...
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Ever since Lucy Stone decided to retain her surname at marriage in 1855, women in America have tried to do the same. But their numbers were extremely low until the 1970s. The increased age at first marriage, rising numbers with professional degrees and Ph.D.'s, the diffusion of 'the Pill,' state legal decisions, and the acceptance of the appellatio...
Article
The modern concept of the wealth of nations emerged by the early twentieth century. Capital embodied in people human capital mattered. The United States led all nations in mass postelementary education during the human-capital century. The American system of education was shaped by New World endowments and Republican ideology and was characterized...
Article
The United States led all rich and industrialized countries in the establishment of mass secondary and higher education, and it led all in Europe by at least several decades for much of the twentieth century. The U.S. advantage in the schooling of its young produced, by mid- century, large differences between the educational stock of its labor forc...
Article
Journal of Interdisciplinary History 31.3 (2001) 431-433 A meritocracy is an economy and society that rewards effort and ability, not family background. Sounds good. But individual ability is often inherited; educational attainment is influenced by family background; and effort and ability are often correlated. Complicating matters further, why is...
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During the nineteenth century, most Western societies extended voting rights, a decision that led to unprecedented redistributive programs. We argue that these political reforms can be viewed as strategic decisions by political elites to prevent widespread social unrest and revolution. Political transition, rather than redistri-bution under existin...
Article
Genuine change in the economic and social status of U.S. women did not emanate simply from their increased labor-force participation, but rather, from their increase in professions and as "career women." Those changes first began in the late 1960's and early 1970's. We examine here one factor of momentous impor- tance in this break with the past. T...
Article
A change in the audition procedures of symphony orchestras--adoption of "blind" auditions with a "screen" to conceal the candidate's identity from the jury--provides a test for sex-biased hiring. Using data from actual auditions, in an individual fixed-effects framework, we find that the screen increases the probability a woman will be advanced and...
Article
This paper attempts to sort out the overall impact of junior colleges on educational attainment. I use the natural experiment arising from variation in access to junior colleges across cities and states to address the problem of self-selection into types of colleges. This approach is implemented by an instrumental variables strategy in which distan...
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Full-text available
We present the first estimates of the returns to years of schooling before 1940 using a large sample individuals (from the 1915 Iowa State Census). The returns to a year of high school or college were substantial in 1915—about 11 percent for all males and in excess of 12 percent for young males. Education enabled individuals to enter lucrative whit...
Article
Full-text available
Economic inequality is higher today than it has been since 1939, as measured by both the wage structure and wealth inequality. But the comparison between 1939 and 1999 is largely made out of necessity; the 1940 U.S. population census was the first to inquire of wage and salary income and education. We address what the returns to skill were prior to...
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This paper derives from several others of mine on the high school movement, the wage structure, and technological change, some jointly authored with Lawrence F. Katz. I acknowledge the helpful comments of a referee and those at the Symposium. Journal of Political Economy, Secondary school education greatly expanded in the United States from 1910 to...
Article
The authors trace the origins of the key features of U.S. higher education today--the coexistence of small liberal arts colleges and large research universities; the substantial share of enrollment in the public sector; and varying levels of support provided by the states. These features began to materialize soon after 1890 when the 'knowledge indu...
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This paper provides a survey on studies that analyze the macroeconomic effects of intellectual property rights (IPR). The first part of this paper introduces different patent policy instruments and reviews their effects on R&D and economic growth. This part also discusses the distortionary effects and distributional consequences of IPR protection a...
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Secondary-school enrollment and graduation rates increased spectacularly in much of the United States from 1910 to 1940; the advance was particularly rapid from 1920 to 1935 in the nonsouthern states. This increase was uniquely American; no other nation underwent an equivalent change for several decades. States that rapidly expanded their high scho...
Article
Time and value are related concepts that influence human behaviour. Although classical topics in human thinking throughout the ages, few environmental economic non-market valuation studies have attempted to link the two concepts. Economists have estimated non-market environmental values in monetary terms for over 30 years. This history of valuation...
Article
Current concern with the impact of new technologies on the wage structure motivates this study. We offer evidence that technology-skill and capital-skill (relative) complementarities existed in manufacturing early in this century and were related to the adoption of electric motors and particular production methods. Industries, from 1909 to 1929, wi...
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There is a vast empirical literature on the allocation of corporate PAC contributions in Congressional elections and the influence that these contributions have on the policy-making process. The attention given to PAC contributions is far in excess of their actual importance. Corporate PAC contributions account for about 10% of Congressional campai...
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The second transformation' of U.S. education the growth of secondary schooling occurred swiftly in the early 1900s and placed the educational attainment of Americans far ahead of that in other nations for much of the twentieth century. Just 9 percent of U.S. youths had high school diplomas in 1910, but more than 50 percent did by 1940. By the mid-1...
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Unemployment compensation in the United States was signed into law in August 1935 as part of the omnibus Social Security Act. Drafted in a period of uncertainty and economic distress, the portions that dealt with unemployment insurance were crafted to achieve a multiplicity of goals, among them passage of the act and a guarantee of its constitution...
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We introduce a new hybrid approach to joint estimation of Value at Risk (VaR) and Expected Shortfall (ES) for high quantiles of return distributions. We investigate the relative performance of VaR and ES models using daily returns for sixteen stock market indices (eight from developed and eight from emerging markets) prior to and during the 2008 fi...
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How has the United States government grown? What political and economic factors have given rise to its regulation of the economy? These eight case studies explore the late-nineteenth- and early twentieth-century origins of government intervention in the United States economy, focusing on the political influence of special interest groups in the dev...