2017 Lindahl Lectures: Professor Claudia Goldin of Harvard University

The Department of Economics proudly presents the speaker of the 2017 Lindahl Lectures: Professor Claudia Goldin of Harvard University. Goldin is a distinguished economic historian and a labour economist well known for her historical work on women in the U.S. economy.

Goldin is currently focused on college women’s aspirations for and achievement of career and family.

Professor Goldin will give two lectures under the general title Career and Family: Collision Course or Confluence of Desires? Both lectures are open to the public and take place in Hörsal 2 at Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10 A.

A Long Road: Career and Family on Tuesday 12 September 13:00–14:00

How to Achieve Gender Equality Wednesday 13 September 9:00–10:00

Photo: Bryce Vickmark


In recent decades, many highly educated women have successfully navigated career roadblocks that hindered equally gifted women in the past. More recently, a greater fraction of college graduate women has achieved family as birthrates have risen. What happens when there are more kids and more careers? Is it a collision course or a successful confluence of desires?

The first talk will look to generations of college women in the US from the late nineteenth century to the present. How did college expand their choice set and how successful were they at achieving career and family? How and why did college women’s experience evolve in terms of marriage, family, work and career? The roles of increased earnings, widened opportunities, and changing preferences and social norms are explored.


Career and family are the twin goals of many college graduate women today. The good news is that the fraction of women who have achieved success in both family and career increased both across and within birth cohorts, as we will learn in Lecture 1. The bad news is that the fraction is still low for younger women. With an increase in the proportion of cohorts graduating from college and a strengthening in their career and family commitment, a crisis looms. I discuss four policies that have been proposed to turn an impending collision course into a confluence of desires. All have some benefits but none will succeed if the costs of temporal flexibility are not decreased. I discuss the evidence for that assessment.


Claudia Goldin is the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University and was the director of the NBER’s Development of the American Economy program from 1989 to 2017. Goldin is an economic historian and a labor economist. Her research covers a wide range of topics, including the female labor force, immigration, income inequality, technological change, education, and the economic gender gap. Most of her research interprets the present through the lens of the past and explores the origins of current issues of concern. Her research is currently focused on college women’s aspirations for and achievement of career and family. She recently completed a project and an edited volume on the increase of women’s employment in their mature and older years.

Read more about Claudia Goldin here 


The Lindahl Lectures was established 1986 in honour of Professor Erik Lindahl (1891-1960) and has throughout the years been visited by a number of influential economists such as Joseph Stieglitz and Thomas Piketty.

Read more about the Lindahl Lectures here