Publications

Working Paper
Alsan M, Goldin C. Watersheds in Infant Mortality: The Role of Effective Water and Sewerage Infrastructure, 1880 to 1915. Working Paper.Abstract
We explore the first period of decline in infant mortality in the U.S. and provide estimates of the independent and combined effects of clean water and effective sewerage systems on infant mortality. Our case is Massachusetts, 1880-1915, when state authorities developed a sewerage and water district for municipalities in the Boston Greater Metropolitan area. We find that the two interventions were complementary and together accounted for approximately 44 percent of the total decline in log infant mortality among treated municipalities during the 35 years considered.  Considerable research has documented the importance of clean water interventions for improvement in population health, but there is less evidence on the importance of sewerage systems. Our findings are directly relevant to urbanization in the developing world and suggest that a dual-pronged approach of safe water and sewerage is important to improving infant and early child survival.
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Forthcoming
Deming D, Goldin C, Katz LF, Yuchtman N. Can Online Learning Bend the Cost Curve of Higher Education?. American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings. Forthcoming.Abstract
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 tuition prices. We present evidence of declining real and relative prices for full-time undergraduate online education from 2006 to 2013. Although the pattern of results suggests some hope that online technology can “bend the cost curve” in higher education, the impact of online learning on education quality remains uncertain.
paper
2015
Goldin C. "How to Achieve Gender Equality". Milken Institute Review. 2015;July(Q3):24-33. PDF
2014
Goldin C.

Human Capital

. In: Handbook of Cliometrics. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer Verlag; 2014.Abstract
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 the productive capacity of others when human capital is increased. This essay discusses these concepts historically and focuses on two major components of human capital: education and training, and health. The institutions that encourage human capital investment are discussed, as is the role of human capital in economic growth. The notion that the study of human capital is inherently historical is emphasized and defended.
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Goldin C.

A Grand Gender Convergence: Its Last Chapter

. American Economic Review. 2014;104(4):1091-1119.Abstract
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 solution does not (necessarily) have to involve government intervention and it need not make men more responsible in the home (although that wouldn’t hurt). But it must involve changes in the labor market, in particular how jobs are structured and remunerated to enhance temporal flexibility. The gender gap in pay would be considerably reduced and might vanish altogether if firms did not have an incentive to disproportionately reward individuals who labored long hours and worked particular hours. Such change has taken off in various sectors, such as technology, science and health, but is less apparent in the corporate, financial and legal worlds.
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A Pollution Theory of Discrimination: Male and Female Differences in Occupations and Earnings
Goldin C. A Pollution Theory of Discrimination: Male and Female Differences in Occupations and Earnings. In: Human Capital in History: The American Record. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press; 2014. pp. 313-353.Abstract
Occupations are segregated by sex today, but were far more segregated in the early to mid-twentieth century. It is difficult to rationalize sex segregation and “wage discrimination” on the basis of men’s taste for distance from women in the same way differences between other groups in work and housing have been explained. Rather, this paper constructs a “pollution” theory model of discrimination in which occupations are defined by the level of a single-dimensional productivity characteristic. Because there is asymmetric information regarding the value of the characteristic of an individual woman, a new female hire may reduce the prestige of a previously all-male occupation. The predictions of the model include that occupations requiring a level of the characteristic above the female median will be segregated by sex and those below the median will be integrated. The historical record reveals numerous cases of the model’s predictions. For example in 1940 the greater is the productivity characteristic of an office and clerical occupation, the higher the occupational segregation by sex. “Credentialization” that spreads information about individual women’s productivities and shatters old stereotypes can help expunge “pollution.”
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Goldin C, Cellini SR. Does Federal Student Aid Raise Tuition? New Evidence on For-Profit Colleges. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. 2014;6(November):174-206. PDF
2013
Goldin C.

Notes on Women and the Undergraduate Economics Major

. CSWEP Newsletter. 2013;(Summer):4-6, 15. cswep_nsltr_sprsum_2013.pdf
Goldin C, Olivetti C. Shocking Labor Supply: A Reassessment of the Role of World War II on Women’s Labor Supply. American Economic Review. 2013;103(3):257-262. PDF
Deming DJ, Goldin C, Katz LF. For-Profit Colleges. Future of Children. 2013;23(1):137-63. PDF
2012
Goldin C, Katz L. The Most Egalitarian of all Professions: Pharmacy and the Evolution of a Family-Friendly Occupation. [Internet]. 2012. WebsiteAbstract
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 wage penalty for pharmacists. Using extensive surveys of pharmacists for 2000, 2004, and 2009 as well as samples from the American Community Surveys and the Current Population Surveys, we explore the gender earnings gap, the penalty to part-time work, labor force persistence, and the demographics of pharmacists relative to other college graduates. We address why the substantial entrance of women into the profession was associated with an increase in their earnings relative to male pharmacists. We conclude that the changing nature of pharmacy employment with the growth of large national pharmacy chains and hospitals and the related decline of independent pharmacies played key roles in the creation of a more family-friendly, female-friendly pharmacy profession. The position of pharmacist is probably the most egalitarian of all U.S. professions today.
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Deming D, Goldin C, Katz LF. The For-Profit Postsecondary School Sector: Nimble Critters or Agile Predators?. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 2012;Winter 2012, v.26(1):139-64. PDF
2011
Goldin C, Katz LF. Mass Secondary Schooling and the State: The Role of State Compulsion in the High School Movement. In: Costa D, Lamoreaux N Understanding Long Run Economic Growth. Cambridge University Press; 2011. PDF
Goldin C, Katz LF. The Cost of Workplace Flexibility for High-Powered Professionals. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 2011;638(1):45-67. PDF
Goldin C, Katz LF. Putting the “Co” in Education: Timing, Reasons, and Consequences of College Coeducation from 1835- Present. Journal of Human Capital. 2011;5(4):377-417. PDF
2010
Bertrand M, Goldin C, Katz LF. Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. 2010;2(3):228-255. PDF
2009
Goldin C, Katz LF. Why the United States Led in Education: Lessons from Secondary School Expansion, 1910 to 1940. In: Eltis D, Lewis F, Sokoloff K Human Capital and Institutions: A Long-Run View. Cambridge University Press; 2009. PDF
Goldin C, Katz LF. The Future of Inequality. Milken Institute Review. 2009;Q3. PDF
2008
Goldin C, Katz LF. Transitions: Career and Family Lifecycles of the Educational Elite. AEA Papers and Proceedings. 2008;May 2008(98):363-369. PDF
The Race Between Education and Technology.
Goldin C, Katz L. The Race Between Education and Technology. Belknap Press for Harvard University Press; 2008.