My Conversation with the excellent Claudia Goldin

Here is the transcript and audio.  Here is part of the CWT summary:

Claudia joined Tyler to discuss the rise of female billionaires in China, why the US gender earnings gap expanded in recent years, what’s behind falling marriage rates for those without a college degree, why the wage gap flips for Black women versus Black men, theoretical approaches for modeling intersectionality, gender ratios in economics, why she’s skeptical about happiness research, how the New York Times wedding announcement page has evolved, the problems with for-profit education, the value of an Ivy League degree, whether a Coasian solution existed to prevent the Civil War, which Americans were most likely to be anti-immigrant in the 1920s, her forthcoming work on Lanham schools, and more.

Here is an excerpt:

COWEN: If you look at a school, say, like Duke or Emory, is it a long-run problem that if they admit people on their merits, there’ll be too many women in the school relative to men, and some kind of affirmative action will be needed for the males?

GOLDIN: These are private institutions, and they can generally accept whom they would like to accept for various reasons of diversity.

COWEN: Should they do that? Or should they just get in 76 percent women, say?

GOLDIN: I’m brought back to the original issues that were raised by a small number of liberal arts colleges and universities in the ’50s and the ’60s about why they should become coeducational institutions.

Those reasons were that their marginal student was not going to Princeton but going to Harvard, not going to Princeton but going to Penn, not going to Princeton but going to Cornell, because that student wanted an education that was more balanced in terms of what the world would look like when they got out. And that more balanced, then, was not necessarily Blacks, Hispanics, and Jews, but the one major thing that was missing from Princeton and Yale and Dartmouth and Amherst and Wesleyan and a whole bunch of places was women.

Those institutions, in a process that I’ve described in the origins of coeducation, led these institutions to move in the direction of accepting more women. Now what’s going through your mind, I think, is, “Yes, but they weren’t lowering quality. In fact, they were increasing quality.” Diversity, in any dimension, can be thought of as a plus for everyone.

It was about 10 years ago that some dean in a small liberal arts college in the Midwest admitted to the fact that they were accepting men with lower SAT, ACT, and grade point averages to increase diversity.

COWEN: Men, probably, are not less intelligent than women, on average. What’s the pipeline problem? Is it too much homework and too many extracurriculars in high school or something else? Where are we failing our young boys?

GOLDIN: We can go back to as early as we have data on high schools and know that girls attended high schools, graduated from high schools at far, far greater numbers than boys. If there is an issue here, it’s certainly not extracurriculars. It may have to do with what’s going on in your cells and this difference between this Y and this double X.

COWEN: The value of an Ivy League degree — what percentage of that value do you think comes from signaling as opposed to learning?

GOLDIN: Very little. I think that it’s not signaling. It’s probably networks.




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