IWPR Research News Roundup – March 2019

RESEARCH MAKING THE NEWS 

As AI Takes Over Jobs, Women Workers May Have the Most to Lose

Sarah Holder |  | March 2019

If the automation revolution is as bad as some researchers believe, almost half of all occupations in the U.S. are at risk of replacement by 2026. Truck drivers will be swapped out for self-driving AI. Manufacturers will use smarter machines instead of hands. Supermarkets will go cashier-free. Even more conservative projections acknowledge that some kind of transition is coming: The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that the overall number of jobs of the future will grow, but that 1.4 million current ones could soon become “redundant.” […]according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR)—the first known comprehensive analysis of how automation will affect U.S. workers differently based on their gender—women could have even more at stake.

Citing: Women, Automation, and the Future of Work by Ariane Hegewisch, Chandra Childers, and Heidi Hartmann at Institute for Women’s Policy Research, March 13th, 2019

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The U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team Makes a Really Good Cased for Equal Pay

Maggie Mertens |  | March 2019

According to a lawsuit filed on March 8 by the U.S. women’s national soccer team, these female athletes are being paid less than the men’s team, in some cases earning just 38 percent of pay per game. This, despite the fact that in recent years the women’s team has generated more profits and revenue for the U.S. Soccer Federation, earned larger viewing audiences, and played more games than the men’s team. […] Out in the wider U.S. labor market, women’s median weekly earnings in 2018 were 81.1 cents for every dollar earned by a man. (The gap is bigger for women of color: Compared with white men’s median weekly earnings in 2018, Hispanic women earned just 61.6 percent and black women earned just 65.3 percent.) And it’s getting worse. According to data analysis from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the gender wage gap actually widened last year.

Citing: The Gender Wage Gap: 2018 Earnings Difference by Race and Ethnicity by Ariane Hegewisch and Heidi Hartmann at Institute for Women’s Policy Research, March 7th, 2019

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STEMming the Parent Flow

Colleen Flaherty |  | March 2019

Women are more likely than men to leave full-time careers in the sciences, technology, engineering and math when they become parents. But this is not just a “mothers’ problem” — dads are leaving, too, at too high a rate, says a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Using National Science Foundation data on STEM professionals — about 10 percent of whom were academic scientists, representative of national trends — the authors found that 43 percent of women and 23 percent of men left their full-time jobs within seven years of having or adopting a child.

Citing: The Changing Career Trajectories of new parents in STEM by Erin A. Cech and Mary Blair-Loy, at Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, February 19th, 2019.

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Inequality is Holding Economies Back. Education could be one Solution

Jeanna Smialek |  | March 2019

Anyone who believes the system is rigged would have experienced a grim “told you so” moment on March 12, when federal prosecutors charged 33 parents who’d bought into a scheme to ensure their children spots at elite universities. […] America is further toward the high-inequality, high-immobility end of the scale than other advanced economies. Such stickiness leads to a problem International Monetary Fund economist Shekhar Aiyar calls “talent misallocation.” When high-aptitude people are shunted to the margins of society, “not only is it unfair, it’s also bad for growth,” he says. As Aiyar describes in a February paper, countries with high income inequality paired with low mobility see slower economic progress.

Citing: Inequality of Opportunity, Inequality of Income and Economic Growth by Shekhar Aiya & Christian Ebeke at International Monetary Fund, February, 2019

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Millennial Women are Struggling Financially: Here’s Why (and Why it’s not their Fault)

Eillie Anzilotti |  | March 20th, 2019

There’s no doubt that closing the pay gap between men and women, and across races, is a vitally important step for advancing equity. Measured against the median salary that a white, male, full-time worker earns, women earn 80% of what men do: Hispanic and black women earn just 54% and 60%, respectively. But according to a new report, it’s not enough. In the U.S., young women in particular are struggling to access and build wealth, and this cannot be explained by the gender pay gap alone [..]  Clipped Wings was created by the Asset Funders Network, which directs grantmakers and funders in how to support economic equity, as well as the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. In it, the authors delve into exactly why millennial women are encountering financial difficulties today, and how support programs and investments should be redesigned to meet their needs.

Citing: Clipped Wings: Closting the Wealth Gap for Millennial Women by Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Anne Price, and Fenaba R. Addo at Asset Funders Network, 2019

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

Digitalization, Automation, and Older Black Women: Ensuring Equity in the Future of Work

Chandra Childers | Peterson Foundation & Institute for Women’s Policy Research | March 2019

Older Black women have always worked outside the home despite limited occupational opportunities. In 1940 more than three-fourths of Black women worked as either private household workers or farm laborers. Since then, Black women have increased their educational attainment and moved in large numbers into clerical and professional occupations. Despite these advances, Black women aged 40 and older remain concentrated in a small number of occupations—almost half of older Black women work in just 20 occupations out of more than 400. Many of the occupations that older Black women work in are disproportionately low wage occupations. Automation and other technologies threaten many of the jobs older Black women work in including low wage jobs, middle-skill jobs that pay well but do not require a bachelor’s degree and professional jobs that require a bachelor’s degree or more. The risks of automation threatens to increase economic inequality—either through the growth of low-wage occupations where older Black women are disproportionately employed, or by increasing the risk of automation or digital skills substituting for workers in middle-skilled and professional occupations.

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Employer Consolidation and Wages: Evidence from Hospitals

Elena Prager & Matt Schmitt | Washington Center for Equitable Growth | February 2019

To isolate the effects of changes in concentration due to mergers, we estimate difference-in-differences models comparing wage growth in markets with mergers to wage growth in markets without mergers. We find evidence of reduced wage growth in cases where both (i) the increase in concentration induced by the merger is large and (ii) workers’ skills are at least somewhat industry-specific. Following such mergers, annual wage growth is 1.1pp slower for skilled non-health professionals and 1.7pp slower for nursing and pharmacy workers than in markets without mergers. In all other cases, we fail to reject zero wage effects. We argue that the observed patterns are unlikely to be explained by merger-related changes aside from labor market power.

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Motherhood, Migration, and Self-Employment of College Graduates

Zhengyu Cai, Heather M. Stephens & John v. Winters | IZA Institute of Labor Economics | February 2019

Women face unique challenges in starting and running their own businesses and may have differing motives to men for pursuing self-employment. Previous research suggests that married women with families value the flexibility that self-employment can offer, allowing them to balance their family responsibilities with their career aspirations. This may be especially true for college graduates, who tend to have more successful businesses. Access to childcare may also affect their labor force decisions. Using American Community Survey microdata, we examine how birth-place residence, a proxy for access to extended family and child care, relates to self-employment and hours worked for college-graduate married mothers.

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Perceived Bias and Income Patterns Differ by Race

Anna Hernandez Kent | Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis | February, 2019

Focusing on discrimination in economic research is not unusual, but concentrating on perceived discrimination is less common. In doing so, researchers can highlight an “unobservable” factor: an individual’s experience that is not readily seen or directly measured. This research, therefore, places less emphasis on reality (whether discrimination actually occurred) and more on perception (whether someone thinks they experienced discrimination). This distinction is important because perceptions add an explanatory layer above that of reality alone. People tend to act on their perceptions—even if these may not reflect reality. For example, if people only believe there will soon be a shortage of a material good, they may hoard that good, thus causing a shortage.

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International Women’s Day 2019: Global Attitudes Towards Gender Equality

Ipsos and Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College in London | February 2019

Two-thirds (65%) believe that women won’t achieve equality in their country unless men take actions to support women’s rights too. A quarter (25%) disagree. Three in five men (61%) agree compared to seven in ten women (69%). Agreement with this statement rises to 74% in Chile, 76% in Peru, 76% in Serbia, but is lowest in Italy (53%), Poland (51%) and Japan (47%). Brits are in line with the global average on this measure with 65% agreeing.

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IWPR Research News Roundup – January 2019

IWPR Research News Roundup – January 2019

RESEARCH MAKING THE NEWS 

The Class of 2019 are More Likely to be Older and Have Children 

Jillian Berman |  | February 2019

Like 40% of students who enter college, life got in the way of Shawnte’ Cain completing her degree. Cain, 39, began her college career in 1997 at Wayne State University in Detroit. She successfully made it through three years at the school, but just as she could see her degree on the horizon, her grandmother fell ill. School fell by the wayside as Cain cared for her and her own financial obligations rose.

Citing: Completing College – National 2018 – by NSC Research Center, December, 2018

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How the 1% Profit Off of Racial Economic Inequality

Derick Asante-Muhammad and Chuck Collins |  | January 2019

As people of color make up a larger share of the diversifying US population, that persistent racial wealth divide is bringing down America’s median wealth. But while wealth at the middle falters, it’s soaring at the top. In other words, the 1% are profiting off ongoing racial economic inequality. All this is happening against a backdrop of seemingly good economic news. Black and Latino unemployment rates reached historic lows in 2018, and median income has slowly inched up for all households in the last few years

Citing: Dreams Deferred: How Enriching the 1% Widens the Radical Wealth Divide at Institute for Policy Studies, Jan, 2019

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The Global Gender Gap will Take More Than 100 Years to Close: Here Are the Countries with the Highest and Lowest Gender Gap around the World

Will Martin and Skye Gould |  | January 2019

It will take more than 200 years for economic gender equality to emerge, and 108 years to completely close the global gender gap across politics, health, education, according to the latest report from the World Economic Forum. The WEF’s annual Global Gender Gap Report compares attitudes towards gender equality around the world. It considered factors such as educational opportunities available to each gender, life expectancy, literacy rates, the number of women in professional positions, and in positions of power in each country.

Citing: The Global Gender Gap Report 2018 at World Economic Forum, Dec, 2018

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Millennial Women Are Winning the Jobs Recovery as Men Struggle

Jeanna Smialek |  | January 2019

Her case is far from unique. The share of 25- to 34-year-old women who are employed or looking has staged a sharp turnaround since 2016. The group since December 2015 has accounted for 86 percent of growth in the workforce of prime-working-age women, who are 25- to 54-years-old, and for 46 percent of gains in the prime-age labor pool as a whole.

Citing: Current Employment Statistics Highlights by Analysts of the National Estimates Branch Current Employment Statistic Survey at U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan 2019

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

The Number of Unionized U.S Workers Edged Lower to the 16.4 Million in 2018

Heidi Shierholz | Economic Policy Institute | January 2019

New data on union membership from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released on Friday showed 16.38 million unionized workers in 2018, down from 16.44 million in 2017. However, because employment of wage and salary workers grew by 1.6 percent between 2017 and 2018, the share of workers represented by a union declined by a more significant amount, from 11.9 percent to 11.7 percent.

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Gender in the Labor Market: the Role of Equal Opportunity and Family- Friendly Policies

Elizabeth L. Doran, Ann P. Bartel, and Jane Waldfogel | National Bureau of Economic Research | December 2018

Although the gender wage gap in the U.S. has narrowed, women’s career trajectories diverge from men’s after the birth of children, suggesting a potential role for family-friendly policies. We provide new evidence on employer provision of these policies. Using the American Time Use Survey, we find that women are less likely than men to have access to any employer-provided paid leave and this differential is entirely explained by part-time status. Using the NLSY97, we find that young women are more likely to have access to specifically designated paid parental leave, even in part-time jobs. Both datasets show insignificant gender differentials in access to employer-subsidized child care and access to scheduling flexibility. We conclude with a discussion of policy implications.

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Female Earnings Inequality: The Changing Role of Family Characteristics on the Extensive and Intensive Margins

David Card & Dean R. Hyslop | National Bureau of Economic Research | December 2018

Although women make up nearly half the U.S. workforce, most studies of earnings inequality focus on men. This is at least in part because of the complexity of modeling both the decision to work (i.e., the extensive margin) and the level of earnings conditional on work (the intensive margin). In this paper we document a series of descriptive facts about female earnings inequality using data for three cohorts in the PSID. We show that inequality in annual earnings of women fell sharply between the late 1960s and the mid-1990s, with a particularly large decline in the extensive margin component. We then fit earnings-generating models that incorporate both intensive- and extensive-margin dynamics to data for the three cohorts. Our models suggest that over 80% of the decline in female earnings inequality can be attributed to a weakening of the link between family-based factors (including the number of children of different ages and the presence and incomes of partners) and the intensive and extensive margins of earnings determination.

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Gender Equality and Poverty Are Intrinsically Linked

Rense Nieuwenhuis, Teresa Munzi, Jorg Neugschwender, Heba Omar, & Flaviana Palmisano | UN Women | December 2018

This discussion paper provides an updated analysis of gendered economic inequality in high- and middle-income countries. A review of the literature demonstrates that such an analysis needs to explicitly recognize that gender, poverty, and (economic) inequality are intrinsically linked. Specifically, the paper addresses two sets of questions: First, how do intra-family resource allocation and distribution patterns both reflect and shape gender inequalities in power and well-being, and what factors—including policy-related ones—can mitigate these inequalities? Second, how do families as gendered institutions contribute to broader socio-economic inequalities, and what can be done to reduce/reverse these inequalities? Using data from the LIS Database, this paper shows considerable differences among 42 countries with respect to how likely women were to have their own income. The period from 2000 to 2010/2014 saw increasing rates of own incomes as well as women’s incomes constituting larger shares in total household income. A key finding is that, in countries where many women have an income of their own, relative poverty rates are lower.

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Big Business Bias: Employment Discrimination and Sexual Harassment at Large Corporations

Philip Mattera | GoodJobsFirst | January 2019

Most of the suits ended in confidential settlements. Looking only at cases with disclosed verdicts or settlements, 189 Fortune 500 companies have paid $1.9 billion in penalties: $356 million in 238 cases resolved by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, $65 million in 85 cases handled by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and $1.5 billion in 176 private lawsuits. Adding in cases against corporations from the rest of the Fortune 1000, the Fortune Global 500 and the Forbes list of America’s Largest Private companies brings the total of disclosed penalties to $2.7 billion, including $588 million from 329 EEOC actions, $81 million from 117 OFCCP cases, and $2 billion from 234 private lawsuits.

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Americans’ Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus.

Merrill Lynch Bank of American Corporation | January 2019

Age Wave, in partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, undertook nine landmark studies focused on all aspects of life in retirement. To complete this body of work, the Age Wave team reviewed thousands of papers, reports and datasets, conducted over 140 expert interviews and 43 focus groups, surveyed 50,000+ respondents, and put in 70,000+ collective work hours.

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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Access to and Use of Paid Family and Medical Leave: Evidence from Four Nationally Representative Datasets

Ann P. Bartel et al. | Monthly Labor Review | January 2019

Statistics on overall access to and use of various types of paid family and medical leave for the U.S. workforce are widely available. However, much less is known about disparities in paid-leave access and use by race and ethnicity. This article examines this question, using data from four nationally representative surveys—the American Time Use Survey Leave Module, the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey, the National Study of the Changing Workforce, and the Survey of Income and Program Participation. The article’s most consistent finding is that Hispanic workers have lower rates of paid-leave access and use than their White non-Hispanic counterparts.

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IWPR Research News Roundup – December 2018

RESEARCH MAKING THE NEWS 

Working Women are Underrepresented in the C-Suite – and in Google Images.

Andrew Keshner |  | 12.18.2018

Men seem to get first preference when researchers from the D.C.-based nonprofit think tank searched for people in certain professions. What’s more, women showed up farther down in the results overall. Men usually appeared on average about two images into the results, while woman showed approximately four images in. Pew came to its conclusions after reviewing U.S. Bureau of Labor 2017 statistics for 105 common occupations and comparing them with which pictures popped up in a Google Image search for those professions.

Cites: Gender and Jobs in Online Image SearchbyOnyi Lam, Stefan Wojcik, Brain Broderick & Adam Hughes at Pew Research Center Dec, 2018

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Most Americans Believe Women Should be Equal at Work, but Attitudes About their Roles at Home are More Complicated

Emma Newburger |  |12.13.2018

Sixty-five percent of Americans say women should have equal roles at work and at home. But the study also revealed a more complicated view of gender equality: Nearly 25 percent of Americans believe that while women should have the same opportunities as men to work or participate in politics, they should still take on a bigger role in the household. A smaller share of people believe that men and women should be unequal in both spheres — 5 percent of millennials and 7 percent of those born from 1946 to 1980.

Citing: Attitudes and the Stalled Gender Revolution: Egalitarianism, Traditionalism, and Ambivalence from 1977 through 2016 by William J. Scarborough, Ray Sin and Barbara Risman at University of Illinois at Chicago, Nov, 2018

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After #MeToo, Those Who Report Harassment Still Risk Retaliation

Lauren Weber |  | 12.12.2018

More than two-thirds of workers who filed sexual harassment complaints with the EEOC say they have suffered retaliation, ranging from job transfers and shift changes to getting fired, according to an analysis of more than 45,000 harassment complaints filed with the EEOC between 2012 and 2016. Of those, nearly all were ultimately fired or left their jobs voluntarily when they felt their work environment became intolerable, the analysis released Wednesday found. More victims are coming forward, but retaliation remains a risk, data show. In the 12 months through Sept. 30, filings with the EEOC alleging sexual harassment rose nearly 14% over the prior year to 7,609 complaints. Allegations of retaliation in connection with sexual harassment have risen by about 5%, said Victoria Lipnic, the EEOC’s acting head.

Citing: Employer’s Response to Sexual Harassment by Carly McCann, Donald Tomaskovic-Devey & M.v. Lee Badgett at University of Massachusetts, Center for Employment Equity, Dec, 2018

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These are the Countries with the Worst Gender Pay Gaps

Andrian Francisco Varela  |  | 12.02.2018

The report—which looked at almost 80% of the world’s earners—analyzed and compiled data on the gap between men and women’s pay across 73 different countries, assessing them based on their income level, and ultimately attempting to ascertain the key culprits behind the wage gap. Interestingly, the phenomenon doesn’t seem to correlate with the differences between men’s and women’s differing education levels.

Citing: Global Wage Report 2018/19: What lies Behind Gender Pay Gaps? At International Labor Organization.

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Making Salary Information Public Helps Close the Gender Pay Gap

Rebecca Greenfield |  | 12.05.2018

When workers know how their pay compares with their colleagues, the difference between what men and women earn gets smaller, according to new economic research. Pay transparency has long been suspected to help close the stubborn gap between men’s and women’s average earnings, but a relatively new Danish law gave researchers from several business schools, including INSEAD, Columbia University and the University of Copenhagen, the chance to prove it. In 2007, Denmark required companies with over 35 employees to disclose pay data by gender. The researchers looked at what happened to salaries between 2003 and 2008 — before and after the law took effect. They also analyzed pay at companies that didn’t have to comply with the law.

Citing: Do Firms Respond to Gender Pay Gap Disclosure? By Morten Bennedsen, Elena Simintzi, Margarita Tsoutsoura Daniel Wolfenzon at University of Copenhagen, Department of Economics, Oct 2018

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

Do State Laws Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Reduce Age Discrimination in Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment

David Neumark, Ian Burn, Patrick Button, & Nanneh Chehras | The National Bureau of Economics Research | Dec, 2018

We provide evidence from a field experiment in all 50 states on age discrimination in hiring for retail sales jobs. We relate measured age discrimination – the difference in callback rates between old and young applicants – to state variation in anti-discrimination laws protecting older workers. Anti-discrimination laws could boost hiring, although they could have the unintended consequence of deterring hiring if their main effect is to increase termination costs. We find some evidence that there is less discrimination against older men and women in states where age discrimination law allows larger damages, and some evidence that there is lower discrimination against older women in states where disability discrimination law allows larger damages. But this evidence is not robust to all of the estimations we consider.

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Discrimination at Intersection of Age, Race and Gender: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-field Experiment

Joanna N. Lahey & Douglas R. Oxley | The National Bureau of Economics Research | Dec, 2018

We show race discrimination against prime-age black job applicants that diminishes into middle age before re-emerging for older applicants. Screeners mechanically process black and white resumes similarly, but spend less time on younger black resumes, suggesting they use negative heuristics or taste-based discrimination. Screeners demonstrate levels-based statistical discrimination, believing that younger black applicants have worse computer skills and more gaps in their job histories. We find no evidence that screeners believe black applicants have worse previous experience. Screeners demonstrate variance-based statistical discrimination against black applicants of all ages, suggesting that screeners perceive the stronger history signals for white applicants, with this type of discrimination disproportionately affecting older applicants. We find suggestive evidence that the signal sent by high school attended is weaker for younger black applicants compared to younger white applicants, and we find no evidence that the signal strength of the applicant’s address varies by race.

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Unions and Wage Inequality: The Roles of Gender, Skill and Public Sector Employment

David Card, Thomas Lemieux, & W. Craig Riddell | The National Bureau of Economics Research | Nov, 2018

We examine the changing relationship between unionization and wage inequality in Canada and the United States. Our study is motivated by profound recent changes in the composition of the unionized workforce. Historically, union jobs were concentrated among low-skilled men in private sector industries. With the steady decline in private sector unionization and rising influence in the public sector, half of unionized workers are now in the public sector. Accompanying these changes was a remarkable rise in the share of women among unionized workers. Currently, approximately half of unionized employees in North America are women. While early studies of unions and inequality focused on males, recent studies find that unions reduce wage inequality among men but not among women.

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Women, Wealth Effects, and Slow Recoveries

Masao Fukui, Emi Nakamura, & Jon Steinsson | The National Bureau of Economics Research | Nov, 2018

Business cycle recoveries have slowed in recent decades. This slowdown comes entirely from female employment: as women’s employment rates converged towards men’s over the past half century, the growth rate of female employment slowed. We ask whether this slowdown in female employment caused the slowdown in overall employment during recent business cycle recoveries. Standard macroeconomic models with “balanced growth preferences” imply that this cannot be the cause, since the entry of women “crowds out” men in the labor market almost one for-one. We estimate the extent of crowd out of men by women in the labor market using state level panel data and find that it is small, contradicting the standard model. We show that a model with home production by women can match our low estimates of crowd out. This model – calibrated to match our cross-sectional estimate of crowd out – implies that 70% of the slowdown in recent business cycle recoveries can be explained by female convergence.

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The Job Characteristics of Low- Income Hispanic Parents

Elizabeth Wildsmith, Maria Ramos-Olazagasti, & Marta Alvira-Hammond | The National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families | Nov, 2018

Parental employment can increase the availability of financial resources that can support children’s development. As such, many publicly funded programs are designed to support children in low-income families encourage and support parental employment.1-3 However, there are additional characteristics of parents’ work that matter for children, characteristics that help determine the availability of non-monetary resources and family dynamics.4-8 In this report, we describe the job characteristics of employed low-income Hispanic parents across four domains associated with child well-being: job security, work schedule, earnings, and employer-provided benefits.4 We look at mothers and fathers separately because of the gendered nature of work. Additionally, we examine differences among Hispanics by nativity, and compare the job characteristics of low-income Hispanic parents to those of low-income non-Hispanic black (“black”) and non-Hispanic white parents (“white”).

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Research News Roundup – January 2018

Retail Industry Meltdown Hits Women Hard; Men Remain Unscathed

By Laura Colby |  | 12.18.2017

As embattled U.S. retailers shed jobs over the past year, women have borne the brunt of the losses. Men, on the other hand, have made steady gains in the retail workforce. Women lost 129,000 retail positions in the last year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data analyzed by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Men gained 106,000 positions. The report found that general-merchandise stores — mainly department stores — accounted for the largest share of both jobs lost and jobs gained. Women at those retailers lost 161,000 positions while men gained 87,800 from October 2016 to October 2017.

Citing: Decline in Retail Jobs Felt Entirely by Women by Jennifer Clark, Emma Williams-Baron, and Heidi Hartmann at Institute for Women’s Policy Research, December 2017

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Robots are going to turbo charge one of society’s biggest problems

By Lianna Brinded |  | 12.28.17

The greater adoption of robots in the workplace is heralded as a way to usher greater business efficiency, productivity, and better paid jobs, which in turn will boost the economy. However, the more jobs are automated, the more the gender wage gap will be exasperated, warns a think tank. […] [The report] warned that automation will widen the pay gaps for women and minorities since robots are likely to phase out lower-skilled jobs over the next few decades, and the jobs created in their place will be more highly skilled. Low-wage jobs are five times more likely to be automated than higher paid jobs, according to the report.

Citing: Managing automation: Employment, inequality and ethics in the digital age by Carys Roberts, Matthew Lawrence, and Loren King at The Progressive Policy Think Tank, December 2017

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Why Aren’t More Women and Minorities Studying Economics?

By Sharon Nunn |  | 12.01.2017

The economists guiding policies on everything from housing to health care disproportionately hail from one demographic group: white men. The pipeline that feeds the field is still proportionally lacking women and minorities, according to new research from the Federal Reserve. The imbalance is potentially harmful to the broader economy, the field of economics and students themselves.

Women made up about 30% of the nation’s economics majors, while minorities represent just 12%, according to the Fed study. Both numbers are significantly lower than the share of women and minorities who attend college. Women make up almost 58% of the student body and minorities represent about 21%.

Citing: The Unequal Distribution of Economic Education: A Report on the Race, Ethnicity, and Gender of Economics Majors at US Colleges and Universities by Amanda Bayer and David Wilcox at the Division of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs, Federal Reserve Board, December 2017

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“Gender gap” hurts small women-owned U.S. businesses

By Jonathan Spicer |  | 11.30.2017

A company is more likely to be denied funding and considered a higher credit risk if it is headed by a woman, according to a Federal Reserve report published on Thursday that shines some light on the so-called gender gap among small U.S. businesses. The 2016 survey showed a somewhat self-reinforcing cycle of women facing higher hurdles than men in not only securing loans but also in increasing profits, revenues and number of employees. Authors of the report by the U.S. central bank’s New York and Kansas City branches said it could help explain why the performance of majority women-owned companies has lagged in recent years, even while their numbers have grown much faster than businesses run by men. One-fifth of U.S. companies had female bosses in 2015.

Citing: 2016 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Women-Owned Firms by the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Kansas City, November 2017

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

Undervalued: A Brief History of Women’s Care Work and Child Care Policy in the United States

By Julie Vogtman | National Women’s Law Center | Decenber 2017

Today, more women are in the labor force than ever before, in a range of jobs far wider than their grandmothers might have imagined. Yet in the U.S., child care is largely still viewed as women’s work and—in contrast to nearly every other developed nation in the world—as a private responsibility rather than a public good. Undervalued: A Brief History of Women’s Care Work and Child Care Policy in the United States provides a brief overview of the state of child care in the United States and traces how—through the persistent denigration of the care work performed by women, especially women of color, and resulting public policy decisions—we arrived at this point. And it identifies the policy solutions that are needed to move toward a system that works for both families and child care providers.

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Financial Services Industry: Trends in Management Representation of Minorities and Women

Daniel Garcia-Diaz | U.S. Government Accountability Office | December 2017

Overall representation of minorities in first-, mid-, and senior-level management positions in the financial services industry increased from about 17 percent to 21 percent from 2007 through 2015. However, as shown in the figure below representation varied by race/ethnicity group and management level. Specifically, representation of African-Americans at various management levels decreased while representation of other minorities increased during this period. Overall representation of women was generally unchanged during this period. Representation of women among first- and mid-level managers remained around 48 percent and senior-level managers remained about 29 percent from 2007 through 2015.

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America’s Caregiving Crunch: Are Businesses Ready?

PL+US | December 2017

When most people think about the unmet need for paid leave in the United States, they think of new parents who need time to be with their infants, but just 21 percent of leaves from work are taken for new babies. Every year, more than 40 million people, or 18 percent of the U.S. population, spend an average of 24 hours a week providing unpaid care for a chronically ill, disabled, or elderly family member. The United States is the only industrialized country that does not guarantee paid family leave, which negatively impacts our health, our economy, our businesses, and our families. The lack of national paid family leave law means companies must create their own policies to meet the needs of their employees.

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Improving Job Quality for the Direct Care Workforce: A Review of State Policy Strategies

By Allison Cook| The Working Poor Families Project | December 2017

Direct care workers—including certified nursing assistants, home health aides, and personal care aides—provide most of the paid, hands-on care received by older adults and people with disabilities who require long-term care. As the demand for long-term care has increased due to the aging of the U.S. population, the direct care workforce has become one of the country’s largest occupations. This substantial workforce is essential to quality of care and life for older people and people with disabilities, yet direct care workers remain undervalued in our long-term care system. Direct care jobs are characterized by low pay, poor benefits, insufficient hours, and minimal training and advancement opportunities. In turn, these workers and their families often struggle to make ends meet.

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Paid Family and Medical Leave: Cost and Coverage Estimates of Three Choices in Massachusetts

By Randy Abelda and Alan Clayton-Matthews| Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy | December 2017

The birth of a child, a cancer diagnosis, a hip replacement, or serious illness of a parent, spouse or child. Each requires a worker to take an extended, but temporary, period of time off from work. Most workers will experience such an event at some point in their life. Yet the United States is one of the few countries in the world that does not have a national policy on paid maternity leave and remains an outlier among industrial counterparts without any guarantee of paid parental and medical leave. Currently, six states and Washington DC, however, have such paid family and medical leave (PFML) programs or have recently enacted them. Many other states have paid family and medical leave legislation under consideration, including Massachusetts. Paid family leave acknowledges the realities of today’s workforce in which many workers struggle to balance work and family, while paid medical leave reduces the economic risk of being out of work for a serious, but short-term, health condition by providing partial pay.

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IWPR Research News Roundup – December 2017

RESEARCH MAKING THE NEWS

Women are better in tech than men, says a report

By Erin Carson |  | 11.17.17

A report from the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution measured men’s and women’s digital scores, and found that women had stronger skills than men do. The Brookings report, called “Digitalization and the American Workforce,” looked at “information about the knowledge, skills, tools and technology; education and training; work context; and work activities required” for high tech jobs, and it gave women a digital score of 48 versus 45 for men.

Citing: Digitalization and the American Workforce by Mark Muro, Jacob Whiton, and Siddharth Kulmaki, at The Brookings Institution, November 2017

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Women start-ups hampered by bias among male investors: study

By Emily Velasco |  | 11.16.2017

A new study is highlighting one possible reason women aren’t making more headway in Silicon Valley: men prefer to invest in companies run by other men. With men making up 90 percent of venture capitalists, that preference is a bottleneck that keeps women out of the ranks of tech entrepreneurs. […] Because female-led start-ups face tougher funding prospects than male-led start-ups, fewer women enter the tech entrepreneur pipeline that ultimately feeds the ranks of venture capitalists.

Citing: Are Early Stage Investors Biased Against Women? By Michael Ewens and Richard R. Townsend at California Institute of Technology and University of California, San Diego, October 2017

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What we now know about who struggles with student debt

By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel |  | 11.16.2017

Older African Americans and college students with children disproportionately bear the burden of education debt, according to a pair of reports released this week that researchers say show the need for more nuanced solutions from higher education. Americans over age 50 collectively hold $247 billion in outstanding federal education loans, an amount that has grown threefold since 2003, policy analysts at the Urban Institute found. The impact of that debt differs depending on whether borrowers took out the loan for themselves or for family members, according to a report released Thursday by the think tank.

Citing: The Complexity of Education Debt Among Older Americans, by Kristin Blagg and Victoria Lee at The Urban Institute, November 2017

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Violence Against Transgender People Is on the Rise, Advocates Say

By Maggie Astor |  | 11.9.2017

The Human Rights Campaign has documented the killings of 25 transgender people in the United States so far in 2017, compared with 23 last year and 21 in 2015. Other organizations, like Glaad and the Transgender Law Center, have slightly different tallies, but the trend holds. Transgender people have been killed this year in Chicago and in Waxahachie, Tex.; in the Ozarks of Missouri and on the sidewalks of Manhattan. They have been shot, stabbed, burned and, in at least one case, pushed into a river. On average, one to two have been killed somewhere in the United States every week.

Citing: Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2017, by The Human Rights Campaign, October 2017

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On #LatinaEqualPayDay, Advocates Are Pushing for Change

By Lyanne Alfaro |  | 11.2.2017

When it comes to median annual earnings, Latinas make 54 cents compared to a dollar earned by non-Latino white men, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). This means Latinas would have to work 10 more months in a year to reach the same level of pay. Women make almost half of the workforce, and only earn 80 cents to every dollar a man makes. But while non-Latina white women could close that gap by 2059, it would take Latinas until 2233 to reach parity.

Citing: Women’s Median Earnings as a Percent of Men’s 1985-2016 (Full-time, Year-Round Workers) with Projections for Pay Equity, by Race/Ethnicity, by Institute for Women’s Policy Research, November 2017

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

Becoming Visible: Race, Economic Security, and Political Voice in Jackson, Mississippi

By Rachel Black and Aleta Sprague, with Aisha Nyandoro | New America | November 2017

This report attempts to reveal how policies created through racial exclusion and oppression are maintained behind a veneer of race-neutrality, and to reject reform efforts that tinker at the margins of this system. In doing so, what we are calling for is nothing less than a new approach to making social policy based on our oldest beliefs about democracy and opportunity that truly affirms the equal humanity and dignity of all people.

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Working with men to support women’s empowerment  

Women for Women International | November 2017

Women’s equality is everyone’s business. All members of society suffer from patriarchal attitudes and have a role to play in promoting gender equality – these are not just “women’s issues.” The emerging literature suggests that there are three main reasons for engaging with men for women’s equality: Men hold important positions of power and influence over societies. Engaging with them as ‘gatekeepers’ can promote more efficient normative change via their influence. Men can become allies who understand the benefits of promoting gender equality and work in partnership with women. Men can also be co-beneficiaries, as patriarchal attitudes reinforce stringent masculine norms that dictate how men should behave and limit the roles a man can play in his family and community.

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Persistent Gaps: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2017

By Karen Schulman and Helen Blank | National Women’s Law Center |November 2017

The average annual cost for full-time care ranges from nearly $3,000 to over $17,000, depending on the age of the child, the type of care, and where the family costs can strain families’ budgets, force parents to use lower-cost care even if they would prefer other options for their children, or prevent parents from working because they cannot a ord care. Child care assistance can enable families to overcome these challenges by helping families pay for child care.

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Trends in College Pricing 2017

By Jaclyn Bergeron and Edward Lu | College Board | October 2017

Both the published tuition and fee prices of colleges and universities and the net prices students pay after subtracting grant aid and tax credits and deductions continued to rise between 2016-17 and 2017-18, even after adjusting for inflation. Average net prices in 2017-18 remain lower at public two-year and private nonprofit four-year institutions than they were in 2007-08 (in 2017 dollars). But each year since 2011-12, net prices have risen in these sectors, as well as at public four-year institutions, as the growth in grant aid slowed relative to the growth in tuition and fees.

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IWPR Research News Roundup – July 2017

RESEARCH MAKING THE NEWS

Women View Online Harassment Differently Than Men

By Samantha Leffler |  | 7.20.2017

The author of a new Pew Research Center study on online harassment, Maeve Duggan, said one difficulty she encountered was the subjective nature of online harassment, which people define and react to very differently. “When it comes to online harassment, there’s no one-size-fits-all option,” she explained. Not surprisingly, the nature of the harassment varied based on gender. Though men are somewhat more likely than women to be harassed online (44 percent vs. 37 percent) women — particularly younger women — are more frequently the targets of sexual harassment online.”

Citing: Online Harassment 2017, by Maeve Duggan, Pew Research Center, July 2017

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Women of Color Don’t Feel Safe in Science Jobs

By Meredith Clark | | 7.10.2017

According to a study published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, of the astronomers and planetary scientists surveyed, 40% of the women of color reported feeling unsafe in the workplace because of their gender or sex, and 28% reported it was due to their race. The study’s authors conducted an Internet survey of 474 women.

Citing: Double Jeopardy in Astronomy and Planetary Science: Women of Color Face Greater Risks of Gendered and Racial Harassment, by Kathryn Clancy, Katharine Lee, Erica Rodgers, and Christina Richey, Journal of Geophysical Research, July 2017

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How Party and Place Shape Americans’ Views on Discrimination

By Gene Demby | | 7.2.2017

Younger white people are much more likely than older white people to say that black people face a lot of discrimination. Most Republicans reject the idea that black people do. Black people are the racial group least likely to support same-sex marriage but the group most opposed to laws that would allow businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ+ people. These are just some of the findings in a massive new study on American attitudes about how Americans perceive discrimination, from the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan group that studies attitudes about culture and public policy.

Citing: Who Sees Discrimination? Attitudes on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Race, and Immigration Status, by Daniel Cox, Rachel Lienesch, and Robert P. Jones , Public Religion Research Institute, June 2017

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Paid Leave for Parents: What’s the right amount of time?

By Kelly Wallace | | 6.29.2017

After conducting a deep dive project, where Schulte and her New America colleagues reviewed numerous studies and talked to a range of experts, they have a recommendation for the optimal duration of paid leave according to available science: Based on infant health, maternal health, gender equality and female labor force participation, they recommend six months to a year of paid family leave.

Citing: Paid Family Leave: How Much Time Is Enough?, by Brigid SchulteAlieza DuranaBrian Stout, and Jonathan MoyerNew America Foundation, June 2017

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Black Girls Are Viewed as Less Innocent and More Adultlike Than White Girls: Study

By Monique Judge | 6.28.2017

The study found that survey participants believe that black girls need less nurturing, need less protection, need to be supported and comforted less, are more independent, know more about adult topics and know more about sex. These results have far-reaching implications and can be a contributing factor to the disproportionate rates of punitive treatment in the education and juvenile-justice systems for black girls.

Citing: Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood, by Rebecca EpsteinJamilia JBlake, and Thalia GonzálezCenter on Poverty and Inequality, June 2017

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

The Gender Wage Gap and Work-Family Supports: Women’s Choices or Policy Choices?

By Ariane Hegewisch and Emma Williams-Baron | Saint Louis University Public Law Review | July 2017

Progress towards closing the gender wage gap has slowed markedly since the early 2000s, at approximately the same time that increases in the labor force participation of mothers also stalled. […] States with better work-family provisions, such as paid family leave and publicly provided prekindergarten classes, are likely to have a lower gender wage gap than states with few supports for working families. […] Rather than focusing on women’s choices as a causation of the gender wage gap, the issue of choice concerns public policies. Without a significantly expanded work-family infrastructure it is unlikely that the gender wage gap will close.

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A Paired-Testing Pilot Study of Housing Discrimination against Same-Sex Couples and Transgender Individuals

By Diane K. Levy, Douglas A. Wissoker, Claudia Aranda, Brent Howell, Rob Pitingolo, Sarale H. Sewell, and Robert Santos | Urban Institute | June 2017

Much of what we know about housing discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community comes from surveys, but these personal experiences may only represent the most blatant forms of discrimination. To more accurately document discrimination against same-sex couples and transgender home seekers, the Urban Institute conducted studies in Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC metro areas using paired testing, a research tool that can capture discrimination in action. Their findings indicate that in the early stages of the rental search process, housing providers discriminate against gay men and transgender people on some treatment measures but treat lesbians and heterosexual women comparably.

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Meet the Out-of-Work

By Martha Ross and Natalie Holmes | The Brookings Institution | June 2017

Even in the midst of a prolonged economic expansion with a low national unemployment rate, not everyone who wants work can find it. Both job availability and demographics vary markedly around the country, yielding diverse local populations wanting and/or needing work. This analysis aims to deepen understanding of out-of-work Americans, and support local officials in their efforts to help these individuals find jobs. Brookings provides a unique perspective on adults ages 25-64 who are out of work across the United States, using cluster analysis to segment the out-of-work population into distinct groups based on factors such as educational attainment, age, work history, disability, English language proficiency, and family status. Detailed information on these groups is presented, accompanied by information on appropriate and effective programs in order to help local officials, funders, and other stakeholders develop, strengthen, or diversify strategies to connect their residents to employment.

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Access to Reproductive Health Care for U.S.-Based Refugees

By Jamila Taylor and Anusha Ravi | Center for American Progress | June 2017

At the intersection of reproductive health care access and refugee resettlement in the United States exists a community that is uniquely affected by both limitations. Upon entering the country, refugees can face barriers to accessing health care in general, including limited access to employer-sponsored health insurance coverage and limited resources or language capability to acquire quality health care services. Additional barriers to accessing reproductive health care in particular—social stigma, restrictive state and local legislation, as well as other hurdles—are compounded by refugees’ limited access to health care in general. While refugees often enter the United States as low-income, there has been significant research showing that refugees integrate well over time by entering the labor force, moving up the occupational ladder, and starting businesses after resettlement. Combined with the proven positive economic indicators for women and families that have increased access to reproductive health care, it is crucial that the refugee community have access to these comprehensive, high-quality services to economically thrive in America.

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Coupling Child Care with Pathways to Nontraditional, Higher Paying Work: Bridging Mississippi’s Skills and Wage Gap

By Matt Williams | Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative | June 2017

Mississippi has a “Middle Skills Gap,” or a labor force scenario in which available jobs that require some postsecondary education or technical training outnumber workers who are qualified to fill them. This particularly impacts single moms with dependent children under the age of 18, who tend to be stuck in low-wage jobs and don’t have the training or education to get into work that pays income above poverty level. This policy brief highlights the need to invest in pathways to higher paying work and presents a solution to Mississippi’s “Middle Skills Gap” that promises to place mothers with child care needs onto pathways toward higher-paying jobs by coupling nontraditional workforce training with critical supports.

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Research News Roundup – May 2017

IWPR.org

Research Making the News

No need to punish poor or raise taxes to get people off welfare

By Chris Tomlinson|  | 5.23.17

“The adult poverty rate in Texas could be slashed from 10 percent to 4.9 percent if women were paid the same as men, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The poverty rate among single Texas mothers would drop from 31.4 percent to 19.5 percent. ‘Persistent earnings inequality for working women translates into lower lifetime pay for women, less income for families and higher rates of poverty across the United States,’ researcher Jessica Milli concluded. ‘If women in the United States received equal pay with comparable men … the U.S. economy would have added $512.6 billion in wage and salary income.'”

Citing: The Economic Impact of Equal Pay by State by Jessica Milli, Institute for Women’s Policy Research

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New Study: Women Don’t Want to Get Married Just Because Men Make More Money

Amanda Marcotte | | 5.17.17

“…Women in larger numbers may have begun choosing single motherhood out of perceived economic necessity, believing that their male partners weren’t steady enough to marry. But although the idea of single motherhood has become more normalized, women haven’t necessarily been more eager to marry, even if men are starting to make better money.”

Citing: Male Earnings, Marriageable Men, and Nonmarital Fertility: Evidence from the Fracking Boom by Melissa S. Kearney and Riley Wilson, National Bureau of Economic Research

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The Gender Pay Gap Is Largely Because of Motherhood

By Claire Cain Miller | | 5.13.17

“When men and women finish school and start working, they’re paid pretty much equally. But a gender pay gap soon appears, and it grows significantly over the next two decades. So what changes? The answer can be found by looking at when the pay gap widens most sharply. It’s the late 20s to mid-30s, according to two new studies — in other words, when many women have children. Unmarried women without children continue to earn closer to what men do.”

Citing: The Dynamics of Gender Earnings Differentials: Evidence from Establishment Data by Erling Barth, Sari Pekkala Kerr, and Claudia Olivetti, National Bureau of Economic Research

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Black Girls Are Twice as Likely to Be Suspended, In Every State

By Lauren Camera | | 5.9.17

“Black girls are more than twice as likely to be suspended from school as white girls – in every state – and it’s not because of more frequent or serious misbehavior. That’s one of the major findings included in a new report from the National Women’s Law Center, which examined a slate of issues that disproportionately impact girls of color. Its researchers placed the bulk of the blame on racist and sexist stereotypes that educators and school officials sometimes harbor about black girls, as well as a web of social circumstances, including their overrepresentation in schools with limited resources that hampers their access to experienced teachers and counselors.”

Citing: Stopping School Pushout for Girls of Color, by Adaku Onyeka-Crawford, Kayla Patrick, and Neena Chaudhry, National Women’s Law Center

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New Research Reports

Flouting the Facts: State Abortion Restrictions Flying in the Face of Science

By Rachel Benson Gold and Elizabeth Nash | Guttmacher Institute | May 2017

Most states require abortion facilities and other health care facilities to meet standards designed to ensure patient safety. However, some states have imposed specific standards for abortion providers that do little or nothing to improve safety, but significantly limit access to abortion. Those standards include measures that impose excessive physical plant requirements or require providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals; other restrictions ban the use of telemedicine for medication abortion and limit the provision of abortion to licensed physicians.

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Intermarriage in the U.S. 50 Years after Loving v. Virginia

By Gretchen Livingston and Anna Brown | Pew Research Center | May 2017

In 2015, 17 percent of all U.S. newlyweds had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, marking more than a fivefold increase since 1967, when 3% of newlyweds were intermarried, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. In that year, the U.S. Supreme Court in the Loving v. Virginia case ruled that marriage across racial lines was legal throughout the country. Until this ruling, interracial marriages were forbidden in many states. More broadly, one-in-ten married people in 2015 – not just those who recently married – had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity. This translates into 11 million people who were intermarried.

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Parental Work Hours and Childhood Obesity: Evidence Using Instrumental Variables Related to Sibling School Eligibility

By Charles Courtemanche, Rusty Tchernis, and Xilin Zhou | Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group, University of Chicago | May 2017

This study exploits plausibly exogenous variation from the youngest sibling’s school eligibility to estimate the effects of parental work on the weight outcomes of older children. Data come from the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth linked to the Child and Young Adult Supplement. The researchers first show that mothers’ work hours increase gradually as the age of the youngest child rises, whereas mothers’ spouses’ work hours exhibit a discontinuous jump at kindergarten eligibility. Leveraging these insights, they develop an instrumental variables model that shows that parents’ work hours lead to larger increases in children’s BMI z-scores and probabilities of being overweight and obese than those identified in previous studies. They find no evidence that the impacts of maternal and paternal work are different. Subsample analyses find that the effects are concentrated among advantaged households, as measured by an index involving education, race, and mother’s marital status.

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The Gender Gap in Financial Outcomes: The Impact of Medical Payments

By Diana Farrell and Fiona Greig | JP Morgan Chase & Co. Institute | May 2017

The financial resilience of families is a critical factor in the overall health of the US economy. Americans across the income spectrum experience high levels of income and spending volatility, and health emergencies are among the most common economic hardships. One in six families makes an extraordinary medical payment in any given year. Families’ financial outcomes worsen as a result of the extraordinary medical payment and do not fully recover even a year after. This is especially true for women. The gender gap in financial outcomes widens after an extraordinary medical payment.

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Women and Giving: The Impact of Generation and Gender on Philanthropy

By Fidelity Charitable | May 2017

Women today play a central role in philanthropy, leading charitable giving within their families, using their time and skills to advance causes within their communities, and embodying the purpose and heart that underpin philanthropic goals. Women’s influence in and approach to giving has evolved over the last 40 years, reflecting the societal changes that have altered gender roles. While older women are entering retirement after decades of taking on expanding roles for women, including a greater say in household giving  decisions, their daughters—the beneficiaries of greater opportunity—are using those expanded roles to help  lead philanthropy in new directions. This report from Fidelity Charitable highlights this evolution in giving, spotlighting the differences between generations of women who give and further examining the similarities among all women, and how their philanthropic journeys are distinctive from men’s.

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The Haves and Have Nots of Paid Family Leave: Unequal Policies from the Nation’s Largest Employers

By PL+US: Paid Leave for the United States | May 2017

In the United States today, paid family leave is an elite benefit: 94 percent of low-income working people have no access to paid family leave. Millions of Americans don’t get even a single day of paid time for caregiving. One in four new moms in the U.S. is back at work just ten days after childbirth. While public discourse often focuses on income inequality, there is another critical way families experience inequality: the inability to be with their babies and families for the most important moments of their lives.

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To view more of IWPR’s research, visit IWPR.org