Claudia Goldin, a professor at Harvard University, was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics Monday for her research into women’s income and employment. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Goldin had “uncovered key drivers of gender differences in the labor market.” After analyzing more than 200 years of US data, Goldin was able to demonstrate that much of the gender pay gap could historically be explained by differences in education and occupation. “However, Goldin has shown that the bulk of this earnings difference is now between men and women in the same occupation, and that it largely arises with the birth of the first child,” the academy said. Jakob Svensson, chair of the committee for the prize in economic sciences, added: “Understanding women’s role in the labor market is important for society. Thanks to Claudia Goldin’s groundbreaking research we now know much more about the underlying factors and which barriers may need to be addressed in the future.” Born in 1946 in New York, Goldin is the third woman to win the Nobel economics prize. She is the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University and a co-director of the Gender in the Economy working group at the National Bureau of Economic Research in the United States. She is the author of several books and is best-known for her work on the history of women in the US economy. The economics prize is officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Unlike the prizes for physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace, it was not instituted by the Swedish industrialist but by Sweden’s central bank in 1968. Last year, the prize went to former US Federal Reserve Governor Ben Bernanke and two fellow American economists, Douglas Diamond and Philip Dybvig, for their work in the early 1980s providing the foundation for the modern understanding of why banks are needed, their chief vulnerabilities and how their collapse can fuel broader financial meltdowns.