US economist Claudia Goldin becomes third woman to win Nobel Prize in Economics

Claudia Goldin. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Stockholm: The Nobel economics prize was awarded Monday to Claudia Goldin, a professor at Harvard University, for advancing understanding of women's labour market outcomes.

Goldin is only the third woman to win the prize, which was announced by Hans Ellegren, secretary-general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in Stockholm.

Understanding women's role in the labour market is important for society. Thanks to Claudia Goldin's groundbreaking research, we now know much more about the underlying factors and which barriers may need to be addressed in the future, said Jakob Svensson, chair of the Committee for the Prize in Economic Sciences.

It follows the awards in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace that were announced last week.

The economics award was created in 1968 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 former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, Douglas W. Diamond and Philip Dybvig for their research into bank failures that helped shape America's aggressive response to the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

Only two of the 92 economics laureates honored have been women.

A week ago, Hungarian-American Katalin Karik and American Drew Weissman won the Nobel Prize in medicine. The physics prize went Tuesday to French-Swedish physicist Anne L'Huillier, French scientist Pierre Agostini and Hungarian-born Ferenc Krausz.

US scientists Moungi Bawendi, Louis Brus and Alexei Ekimov won the chemistry prize on Wednesday.

They were followed by Norwegian writer Jon Fosse, who was awarded the prize for literature. And on Friday, jailed Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi won the peace prize.

The prizes are handed out at awards ceremonies in December in Oslo and Stockholm.

They carry a cash award of 11 million Swedish kronor (about USD 1 million). Winners also receive an 18-carat gold medal and diploma. 

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