Claudia Goldin of Harvard University has been awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. This column, written by two of her former students and now fellow scholars, outlines both the work on gender gaps in employment and wages for which she has been formally recognized, and her contributions to a broader agenda of understanding inequality in the labor market. Her research digs deep into the histories of education, technology and industrialization to uncover the drivers of inequalities in demand, supply, institutions and norms. And while her intellectual influence goes far beyond the study of gender gaps, she has inspired countless women to pursue the study of economics.
Cecilia Rouse, a colleague and former student of Claudia Goldin, explains Goldin’s perseverance in unearthing datasets that allowed her to document trends in labor and education, particularly with respect to women. Rouse also praises Goldin’s courage to prioritize the study of women and discusses what it was like to work with the recent Nobel Prize- winning economist on seminal work.
In new research, Francesco Barilari and Diego Zambiasi study how President Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush’s rhetoric on the War on Drugs while on the campaign trail, particularly targeting crack cocaine abuse, was enough to alter policing policy. Specifically, the authors find that increased rhetoric led to an increase in arrests of Black Americans. Their study contributes to a literature on the material impact that political rhetoric can have on policing and public policy.
In new research, Markus Eberhardt, Giovanni Facchini, and Valeria Rueda delve into a unique database comprising 12,000 reference letters, which were written in support of more than 3,700 applicants applying for academic job positions in economics in the United Kingdom. Their analysis uncovers a pervasive disparity in the way male and female candidates are recommended. Specifically, the authors observe that women are frequently lauded for their hard work and determination, and at times less likely to be praised for their natural talent. They also show that such gender-based stereotyping hinders the progress of women economists.
In a field experiment conducted with economists on Twitter, the authors find that users who are identifiable as white, women, and PhD students affiliated with “top-ten” universities are more likely to receive follow-backs.
Much of the conversation of the proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger has focused on the risks to consumers. However, the merger also poses serious implications for the grocers’ upstream suppliers, particularly smaller regional firms.
Due to a change in how the FDIC resolves failed banks, uninsured deposits have become de facto insured. Not only is this dangerous for risk in the banking system, it is not what Congress intends the FDIC to do, writes Michael Ohlrogge.
Former special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy Tim Wu responds to the November 27 letter signed by former chief economists at the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department Antitrust Division calling for a separation of the legal and economic analysis in the draft Merger Guidelines.
In new research, Valentino Larcinese and Alberto Parmigiani find that the 1986 Reagan tax cuts led to greater campaign spending from wealthy individuals, who benefited the most from this policy. The authors argue that a very permissive system of political finance, combined with the erosion of tax progressivity, created the conditions for the mutual reinforcement of economic and political disparities. The result was an inequality spiral hardly compatible with democratic ideals.
Many financial commentators thought that the surge of retail investors participating in the stock market, the most notable of whom boosted “meme stocks” like GameStop, would democratize corporate governance and improve prosocial firm behavior, including the promotion of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. In new research, Dhruv Aggarwal, Albert H. Choi, and Yoon-Ho Alex Lee find evidence that the exact opposite took place.
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