Goldin To Head Economic Association in 2013

Economics professor Claudia D. Goldin was chosen as the president-elect of the American Economic Association, one of the world’s largest coalitions of economics professors, practitioners, and experts. Once elected in 2013, she will be the third female president in the history of the AEA.

“I’m deeply honored to have been chosen by this very large organization as president,” Goldin said. “It is a position with a lot of work and a lot of responsibility.”

The AEA, which serves to promote research in economics, brings together economists from around the world and publishes numerous peer-reviewed journals, including the American Economic Review.

“[The position] is already taking a tremendous amount of time,” Goldin said on her appointment. “As president-elect you have the greatest responsibility and most of the duties.”

Goldin, who received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, is a labor economist and economic historian. Much of her research has focused on the historic roles of education, women, and labor in the U.S. economy.


Along with Economics Professor Lawrence F. Katz, she published the book “The Race between Education and Technology” in 2008. Currently, she teaches both graduate and undergraduate classes, including a seminar titled Economics 980b: “Education in the Economy.”

Goldin, who also served as president of the Economic History Association in 2000, says that she would have to “think hard” about what changes to make to the AEA as president-elect.

“It’s an institution that has existed for a long period of time,” she said. “The changes that I make...are important with regards to making sure that the AEA remains an important and viable institution.”

Among the changes that Goldin will be overseeing as president-elect are the AEA’s new disclosure policies for economic publications.

According to Goldin, this set of directives requires economists who submit articles to the AEA’s journals to list any potential conflicts of interest. This change follows similar policies implemented by The National Bureau of Economic Research last March.

Goldin also discussed the weight of her role as a woman in the male-dominated field of economics.

“At Harvard, it’s pretty clear that the social sciences subject dominated by women is psychology and by men is economics,” Goldin said. “We have to ask here at Harvard why women are going into economics at a level disproportionate to that of men.”

—Staff writer Nikita Kansra can be reached at

—Staff writer Sabrina A. Mohamed can be reached at

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: Feb. 2, 2012.

An earlier version of this article misquoted economics professor Claudia D. Goldin's characterization of the presidency of the American Economic Association, which she will assume next year.