Claudia Goldin, Doctor of Humane Letters

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The pioneering labor economist received an honorary degree from Dartmouth during commencement.

Claudia Goldin

(Photo by Herb Swanson)


CLAUDIA GOLDIN, as a pioneering labor economist and economic historian, your leadership on topics ranging from immigration to women in the workforce has placed you among the most influential and insightful American economists working in the world today.

Arriving at Cornell University as a rather precocious student in 1963, you were invigorated to learn just how little you knew. With an insatiable thirst for knowledge, you drank in the liberal arts, eventually discovering economics, the field you would opt to pursue.

Under the mentorship of the great Alfred Kahn and, later, Gary Becker and Robert Fogel, you excelled in your own right, earning your PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1972.

Best known for your research into the rise of women in the labor force and its impact on the U.S. economy, you continually look to the past to better understand the present. Likening yourself to a detective sleuthing for clues, it is the intensity and thoroughness of your investigations that set you apart. Your 1990 book, Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women, remains the seminal work on the reasons behind the gender pay gap.

For nearly 30 years, you served as director of the Development of the American Economy program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. In 1990, you became the first woman to be granted tenure in the economics department at Harvard, where you continue to teach and delight in discovery alongside your students.

For your lifetime contributions to the field of labor economics and your endless pursuit of answers to life’s biggest and most complex questions, Dartmouth is proud to award you the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

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