Publications

Working Paper
Goldin C. How Japan and the US Can Reduce the Stress of Aging. Working Paper.Abstract

The Japanese are becoming older. Americans are also becoming older. Demographic stress in Japan, measured by the dependency ratio (DR), is currently about 0.64. In the immediate pre-WWII era it was even higher because Japan’s total fertility rate (TFR) was in the 4 to 5 range. As the TFR began to decline in the post-WWII era, the DR fell and hit a nadir of 0.44 in 1990. But further declining fertility and rising life expectancy caused the DR to shoot up after 1995.

In this short note I simulate the DR under various conditions and make comparisons with the US. Japan has experienced a large increase in its DR because its fertility rate is low, its people are long lived and it has little immigration. Fertility is the largest of the contributors in Japan. If there are no demographic changes in Japan, the DR will be 0.88 by 2050. I also assess the role of the “baby boom” of the late 1940s and show that it was compensatory, unlike that in the US. The good news is that healthier older longer-lived people will continue to be employed for many more years than previously and that is one way to reduce demographic stress.

PDF
Forthcoming
Alsan M, Goldin C. Watersheds in Child Mortality: The Role of Effective Water and Sewerage Infrastructure, 1880 to 1920. Journal of Political Economy. Forthcoming.Abstract

We explore the first period of sustained decline in child mortality in the U.S. and provide estimates of the independent and combined effects of clean water and effective sewerage systems on under-five mortality. Our case is Massachusetts, 1880 to 1920, when authorities developed a sewerage and water district in the Boston area. We find the two interventions were complementary and together account for approximately one-third of the decline in log child mortality during the 41 years. Our findings are relevant to the developing world and suggest that a piecemeal approach to infrastructure investments is unlikely to significantly improve child health.

PDF
2018
Women Working Longer: Facts and Some Explanations
Goldin C, Katz LF. Women Working Longer: Facts and Some Explanations. In: Women Working Longer. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press ; 2018. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Today, more American women than ever before stay in the workforce into their sixties and seventies. This trend emerged in the 1980s, and has persisted during the past three decades, despite substantial changes in macroeconomic conditions. Why is this so? Today’s older American women work full-time jobs at greater rates than women in other developed countries.
            In Women Working Longer, editors Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz assemble new research that presents fresh insights on the phenomenon of working longer. Their findings suggest that education and work experience earlier in life are connected to women’s later-in-life work.  Other contributors to the volume investigate additional factors that may play a role in late-life labor supply, such as marital disruption, household finances, and access to retirement benefits.  A pioneering study of recent trends in older women’s labor force participation, this collection offers insights valuable to a wide array of social scientists, employers, and policy makers.
Avilova T, Goldin C. What Can UWE Do for Economics?. AEA Papers and Proceedings. 2018;108 :186-190.Abstract
Men outnumber women as undergraduate economics majors by three to one nationwide. Even at the best research universities and liberal arts colleges men outnumber women by two to one or more. The Undergraduate Women in Economics Challenge was begun in 2015 as an RCT with 20 treatment schools and at least 30 control schools to evaluate whether better course information, mentoring, encouragement, career counseling, and more relevant instructional content could move the needle. Although the RCT is still in the field, results from several within treatment-school randomized trials demonstrate that uncomplicated and inexpensive interventions can substantially increase the interest of women to major in economics
PDF
2017
Goldin C, Kerr SP, Olivetti C, Barth E. The Expanding Gender Earnings Gap: Evidence from the LEHD-2000 Census. American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings. 2017;107 (5) :110-114.Abstract
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 disproportionate shifts by men into higher-earning positions, industries, and firms and about 56 percent to differential advances by gender within firms. Widening is greater for married individuals and for those in certain sectors. Non-college graduates experience less widening but with similar patterns.
PDF longer version PDF AER P&P version
Goldin C, Mitchell J. The New Lifecycle of Women’s Employment: Disappearing Humps, Sagging Middles, Expanding Tops. Journal of Economic Perspectives [Internet]. 2017;31 (1) :161-182. Publisher's Version
2016
Goldin C, Katz LF. A Most Egalitarian Profession: Pharmacy and the Evolution of a Family Friendly Occupation. Journal of Labor Economics [Internet]. 2016;34 (3) :705-745. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Pharmacy has become a highly remunerated female-majority profession with a small gender earnings gap and low earnings dispersion relative to other occupations. Using extensive surveys of pharmacists for 2000, 2004, and 2009 as well as the U.S. Census of Population, American Community Surveys and the Current Population Surveys, we explore the gender earnings gap, penalty to part-time work, demographics of pharmacists relative to other college graduates and evolution of the profession during the last half century. We conclude that technological changes increasing the substitutability among pharmacists, the growth of pharmacy employment in retail chains and hospitals, and the related decline of independent pharmacies reduced the penalty to part-time work and have contributed to the narrow gender earnings gap in pharmacy. Our findings on earnings, hours of work and the part-time work wage penalty are more consistent with a shift in technology than a shift in demand preferences on the part of workers in a model of equalizing differences. The position of pharmacist is among the most egalitarian of all U.S. professions today.

PDF
Deming DJ, Yuchtman N, Abulafi A, Goldin C, Katz LF. The Value of Postsecondary Credentials in the Labor Market: An Experimental Study. American Economic Review [Internet]. 2016;106 (3) :778-806. Publisher's VersionAbstract

 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 institution is 22 percent less likely to receive a callback than one from a nonselective public institution. In applications to health jobs, we find that for-profit credentials receive fewer callbacks unless the job requires an external quality indicator such as an occupational license.

Revised_Sept 2015
Goldin C. Human Capital. In: Handbook of Cliometrics. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer Verlag ; 2016.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.

goldin_humancapital.pdf
2015
Goldin C. Hours Flexibility and the Gender Gap in Pay. Center for American Progress. 2015. PDF
Goldin C. "How to Achieve Gender Equality". Milken Institute Review. 2015;July (Q3) :24-33. PDF
Deming D, Goldin C, Katz LF, Yuchtman N. Can Online Learning Bend the Cost Curve of Higher Education?. American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings [Internet]. 2015;105 (5) :496-501. Publisher's VersionAbstract

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. Colleges with a higher share of online students charge lower tuition prices. We present evidence that real and relative prices for full-time undergraduate online education declined 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.

dgky_nber_wp_01.pdf
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 ; 2015. pp. 313-348.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.”

PDF
2014
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.

PDF
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
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

Pages