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April 2013 Research News Reporter

 

IWPR’s Research News Reporter is distributed to highlight informative, innovative, and sometimes controversial research related to women and their families.

 

April 2013

Research Making the News

 

1.    “Helping NC Girls and Women Thrive”

2.    “We've Moved Backward in Closing the Gender Wage Gap”

3.    “Study of Men’s Falling Income Cites Single Parents”

4.    “Knot Yet: Getting Married Later can Have Economic Costs, Benefits”

5.    “Study: Men and Women Both Stressed About Work-Life Balance”

6.    “Mortgage Discrimination Study Finds Women Received Fewer Approvals in Wake of

Crash”

 

Research Reports

 

1.   Valuing Good Health in New York City: The Costs and Benefits of Earned Sick Days

2.   Valuing Good Health in Portland: The Costs and Benefits of Earned Sick Days

3.   The Status of Women and Girls in West Virginia

4.   Education Data Show Gender Gap in Career Preparation

5.   Great Expectations: Exploring the Promises of Gender Equality

6.   In the Shadow of the Wall: Family Separation, Immigration Enforcement and Security

7.   The Social and Economic Benefits of Women’s Ability to Determine Whether and When
to Have Children

 

 

Research Making the News

Each selection includes a short excerpt, link to the news article, and link to the research cited:

 

1. “Helping NC Girls and Women Thrive”

 

By Fannie Flono

The Charlotte Observer

March 14, 2013

 

Citing: The Status of Girls in North Carolina 2013 by Meredith College and The Status of Women in North Carolina by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D., Ariane Hegewisch, Youngmin Yi, and Claudia Williams, Institute for Women’s Policy Research

 

“A refrain from a Beyonce song swirled through my mind when I read a report compiled by Meredith College titled, “The Status of Girls in North Carolina 2013.” The words? “Who run(s) the world? Girls!” The report, though, illuminated the difficulties N.C. girls face in reaching that level of empowerment more than it echoed that anthem as reality. Yet the data about Tar Heel girls stand as an opportunity for parents, policymakers, educators and others to proactively deal with issues that are roadblocks to the progress and well-being of females in this state.

 

[…] More than half the state’s population is female. Children represent 13 percent of the total N.C. population. Of those children, 25 percent live in poverty. Another 23 percent in North Carolina are close to living in poverty. Taken together, that means nearly half the state’s children live in dire circumstances. North Carolina has the 10th highest rate of child poverty nationally. Additionally, families headed by single women are most likely to live in poverty. […]Many struggle on their own – only 12 percent of those with children under 5 who are poor receive any cash assistance. […]

 

[…] A recent report on the status of women in North Carolina found how tenuous progress for females can be without sound policy initiatives and continued support to address inequities and other problems. The report, from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, highlights progress and setbacks for the state’s women.

 

Women have narrowed the wage gap with men, more so than has been done nationally. But N.C. women in comparable jobs to men still make only 83 cents to every dollar men make. And though more women hold elective office than did 20 years ago, they continue to be underrepresented in North Carolina’s legislature relative to their share of the population. Many more women remain stuck in low-wage jobs compared with men even while they have become the main wage earner or equal partner in that regard in nearly 4 out of 10 families. […]”

 

To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the full report, The Status of Girls in North Carolina 2013, click here. To learn more about Meredith College, visit their website. To download a free PDF of the report, The Status of Women in North Carolina, click here. To learn more about the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, visit our website.

 

 

2. “We've Moved Backward in Closing the Gender Wage Gap”

 

By Bryce Covert

Forbes

March 7, 2013

 

Citing: The Gender Wage Gap: 2012 by Ariane Hegewisch, Claudia Williams, and Angela Edwards, Institute for Women’s Policy Research

 

“[…] A new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research out today shows that the gap between median annual earnings for men and women working full time was lower in 2011 than in 2010 – and in fact equal to the gap as it stood in 2009. Median weekly earnings for full-time workers saw a gap of 80.9 percent in 2012, declining more than a whole percentage point since the year before […].

 

What’s particularly strange about this is that the wage gap typically narrows during a recession, as Ariane Hegewisch of IWPR told me. “This is because men are more likely to work in jobs with high bonus payments and overtime work; in a recession discretionary payments such as merit pay tend to go down,” and men are the primary recipients of these lavish rewards.

 

What’s worse, though, is that this latest speed bump is dwarfed by the slowdown in progress since the 1990s, as can be seen in the graph above. As the report notes, “Since 2001 the annual gender earnings gap narrowed by only about one percentage point. In the previous decade, from 1991 to 2000, it closed by almost four, and in the decade prior to that, 1981 to 1990, by over ten percentage points.” Where we were making solid progress toward true gender parity in pay, recent decades have seen it trickle to a slow crawl. […]”


To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, visit our website.

 

 

3. “Study of Men’s Falling Income Cites Single Parents”

 

By Binyamin Appelbaum

The New York Times

March 20, 2013

 

Citing: Wayward Sons: The Emerging Gender Gap in Labor Markets and Education by David Autor and Melanie Wasserman, Third Way

 

“The decline of two-parent households may be a significant reason for the divergent fortunes of male workers, whose earnings generally declined in recent decades, and female workers, whose earnings generally increased, a prominent labor economist argues in a new survey of existing research.

 

David H. Autor, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says that the difference between men and women, at least in part, may have roots in childhood. Only 63 percent of children lived in a household with two parents in 2010, down from 82 percent in 1970. The single parents raising the rest of those children are predominantly female. And there is growing evidence that sons raised by single mothers “appear to fare particularly poorly,” Professor Autor wrote in an analysis for Third Way, a center-left policy research organization.

 

In this telling, the economic struggles of male workers are both a cause and an effect of the breakdown of traditional households. […]

 

“A vicious cycle may ensue,” wrote Professor Autor and his co-author, Melanie Wasserman, a graduate student, “with the poor economic prospects of less educated males creating differentially large disadvantages for their sons, thus potentially reinforcing the development of the gender gap in the next generation. […]

 

Most economists agree that men have suffered disproportionately from economic changes like the decline of manufacturing. But careful analyses have found that such changes explain only a small part of the shrinking wage gap. […]

 

Professor Autor’s own explanation builds on existing research showing that income inequality has soared, stretching the gap between rich and poor, and that a smaller share of Americans are making the climb. The children of lower-income parents are ever more likely to become, in turn, the parents of lower-income children. […]”

 

To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the full report, click here. To learn more about the Third Way, visit their website.

 

 

4. “Knot Yet: Getting Married Later can Have Economic Costs, Benefits”

 

By Karen Kaplan

Los Angeles Times

March 15, 2013

 

Citing: Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America by Kay Hymowitz, Jason S. Carroll, W. Bradford Wilcox, and Kelleen Kaye, RELATE Institute and National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia

 

“Americans are getting married at ever-older ages, and a new report says this trend may be partly responsible for the shrinking of the middle class. […]

 

For college-educated men and women, delaying marriage has paid off – literally. […]

 

The return on this investment is most significant for women: those who finish college and get married after turning 30 earn $18,152 more per year, on average, than women who marry in their 20s or teens. Even women who are high school graduates but don’t finish college earn $4,052 more per year, on average, than women who marry when they’re younger.  Meanwhile, women who don’t delay marriage are still increasingly likely to become mothers before they become wives. […]

 

This pattern of putting parenthood before marriage has long been observed in lower-income households, but […] the trend is now spreading to middle-income households.

 

[…There] are data that suggest children born to unmarried parents are at several disadvantages compared with their peers with married parents. […]

 

Delaying marriage has helped reduce the U.S. divorce rate, which peaked in the early 1980s. The older couples are when they get married, the more mature and financially secure they are, two factors that translate into a lower risk of divorce. Overall, an estimated 40% of marriages end up in divorce, down from 50% 30 years ago.”

 

To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the full report, click here. To learn more about the RELATE Institute, visit their website. To learn more about the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, visit their website.

 

 

5. “Study: Men and Women Both Stressed About Work-Life Balance”

 

By Danielle Kurtzleben

U.S. News and World Report

March 14, 2013

 

Citing: Modern Parenthood: Roles of Moms and Dads Converge as They Balance Work and Family by Pew Research Center

 

“[…] Fathers spend far more time at their jobs and less time on housework and childcare than mothers, according to a new Pew Research Center study, which dissects results of the U.S. government's American Time Use Survey. The study also found that mothers spend around 32 hours per week on childcare and housework, compared to fathers' 17 hours. Meanwhile, mothers average 21 hours per week on paid work, compared to 37 hours for fathers. […]

 

The survey shows that 50 percent of working dads and 56 percent of working moms report that it is “very” or “somewhat” difficult to balance family and work responsibilities. But a majority of adults agree that “ideal” work-life balance differs by sex. Nearly half of respondents say it's best for the mother of young children to work part-time. Only 12 percent say it's ideal for a mom to work full-time. Meanwhile, 20 percent of respondents say it's ideal for a dad of young children to work part-time, but an overwhelming majority—70 percent—say fathers should work full-time. […]”

 

To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about the Pew Research Center, visit their website.

 

 

6. “Mortgage Discrimination Study Finds Women Received Fewer Approvals in Wake of Crash”

 

By Ben Hallman

Huffington Post

March 12, 2013

 

Citing: Fact Sheet: Unequal Opportunity: Disparate Mortgage Origination Patterns for Women in the Chicago Area by Woodstock Institute

 

“[…] Chicago women who applied for a new home mortgage in 2010 were 24 percent less likely to obtain a loan than men, the study by the Woodstock Institute found. Lenders were 39 percent less likely to refinance a woman's existing mortgage, the study says. […]

 

Black women listed first on a loan application were 34 percent less likely to be approved than applications with a black man listed first, the study found. Black women listed first on refinancing applications were 44 percent less likely to meet with approval, the study found.

 

The authors of the study examined joint mortgage applications in order to factor out demographic characteristics that could explain the disparity, they said. This means they looked at all applications with a woman listed first and compared the success rate to all applications with a man listed first. […]

 

The study concludes with a call for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to require additional disclosures about credit scores and other lending factors as part of new mortgage rules. […]”

 

To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the full report, click here. To learn more about the Woodstock Institute, visit their website.

 

 

 

New Research

 

1. Valuing Good Health in New York City: The Costs and Benefits of

Earned Sick Days

 

Claudia Williams

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

March 2013

 

“ […] Using the parameters of [New York City’s “Earned Sick Time Act”], the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) estimated the anticipated costs and some of the anticipated benefits of the proposed legislation using data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the U.S. Census Bureau. The current proposed bill states that workers in businesses with fewer than five employees will receive job protection for up to five unpaid sick days and workers in businesses with five or more employees will be able to earn up to five paid sick days per year. […].”

 

To download a free PDF of the fact sheet, click here. To learn more about the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, visit our website.

 

 

2. Valuing Good Health in Portland: The Costs and Benefits of Earned Sick Days

 

Claudia Williams

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

March 2013

 

“Legislators in Portland are considering the “Protected Sick Time Act.” Using the parameters of the proposed legislation and publicly available data, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) estimates the anticipated costs and some of the anticipated benefits of the law for employers providing new leave, as well as some of the benefits for employees.

 

The briefing paper uses data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Oregon Public Health Division, and the U.S. Census Bureau to evaluate costs and benefits of Portland’s “Protected Sick Time Act.” It estimates how much time off Portland workers would use under the proposed policy and the costs to employers for that sick time. This analysis also uses findings from previous peer-reviewed research to estimate cost savings associated with the policy, through reduced turnover, reduced spread of contagious disease in the workplace, prevention of productivity losses from employees working while sick, minimizing nursing-home stays, and reducing norovirus outbreaks in nursing homes. […]

 

The analysis, which quantifies only a subset of potential benefits, still finds a net economic benefit from the proposed legislation. Likely additional benefits from earned sick day not quantified in this analysis include: lower health care spending due to reduced public contagion and more timely and regular preventive care and treatment; improved economic security among families who receive pay on sick days and are less likely to be fired or disciplined for taking sick time; and improved school outcomes and reduced contagion in schools due to parents’ ability to take time out of work to care for sick children rather than sending them sick to school or child care […].”

 

To download a free PDF of the briefing paper, click here. To learn more about the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, visit our website.

 

 

3. The Status of Women and Girls in West Virginia


Cynthia Hess, Ph.D., Ariane Hegewisch, and Claudia Williams

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

March 2013

 

“This report provides comprehensive data to assess the progress of women and girls in West Virginia and identify places where additional improvements are still needed. The report analyzes issues that profoundly affect the lives of women and girls in the state, including employment, earnings, and education; economic security and poverty; and health and well-being. The report also tracks trends in progress in West Virginia (between 2000 and 2010) by comparing its findings with the 2002 report, The Status of Women in West Virginia (IWPR 2002). In addition, the report examines the status of women and girls in five regions of the state (Northern Panhandle, North Central, Eastern Panhandle, South Central, and Southern) as well as in the nation as a whole. The data on women’s and girls’ status that it presents can serve as a resource for advocates, community leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders who seek to develop community investments, program initiatives, and public policies that will lead to positive change for women and girls in West Virginia and the nation as a whole.”

 

To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, visit our website.

 

 

4. Education Data Show Gender Gap in Career Preparation

 

The CTE Taskforce of the National Coalition of Women and Girls in Education and the National Coalition on Women, Jobs and Job Training.

March 2013

 

More than forty years after Title IX outlawed sex segregation in education, women and girls are still sorely underrepresented in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that prepare students for careers in high-paying occupations in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the skilled trades, and other occupations traditionally done by men. Two coalitions for women’s education and job training call for the reauthorization and strengthening of the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to improve women’s and girls’ access to these CTE programs. The findings in the briefing paper are based on a new analysis by NCWGE and NCWJJT of state-by-state reports on student enrollment and course completion in secondary and postsecondary career and technical education that were submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. The research shows that some states are doing significantly better than others.

 

To download a free PDF of the full briefing paper, click here. To learn more about the National Coalition of Women and Girls in Education, visit their website.

 

 

5. Great Expectations: Exploring the Promises of Gender Equality

 

Tess Lanning, Laura Bradley, Richard Darlington, and Glenn Gottfried

Institute for Public Policy Research, UK

March 2013

 

“[…] If the UK is a dramatically different place than it was in the post-war era, it is arguably women who have experienced the most dramatic changes of all. However, these changes are often presented in a familiar narrative of linear progress, which masks the different ways in which economic, social and cultural changes have affected women from different backgrounds. […] Through this report, we aim to spark debate about the priorities for the next era of gender politics, and about the strategies and agencies required to achieve change. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative research comparing today’s generation of young women to their mothers’ and grandmothers’ generations, we explore how women’s aspirations and expectations, the nature of gender relations, and the underlying structure of opportunities for women have changed over time. […] [In the realm of the paid economy,] IPPR’s findings suggest […] that the reality of women’s emancipation is much more complex and more uneven than the familiar narrative of advancement suggests. Improvements in the difference between the ‘average man’ and the ‘average woman’ since the 1980s have taken place against a backdrop of stagnant social mobility, rising economic inequality, and a dramatic shift in the nature of work available. […]”

 

To download a free PDF of the full report, click here. To learn more about the Institute for Public Policy Research, UK, visit their website.

 

 

6. In the Shadow of the Wall: Family Separation, Immigration Enforcement

and Security

 

Jeremy Slack, Daniel E. Martínez, Scott Whiteford, and Emily Peiffer

University of Arizona

March 2013

 

“[…] In this brief report, we outline some of the preliminary findings of our research that show the consequences of a broken immigration system, as well as a discussion of the impacts of current enforcement practices. Border enforcement practices have long operated behind a veil of silence and often behind closed doors. Our goal is to explain with precision how these programs work in order to evaluate what elements would constitute border security and an effective immigration system. […]In this report we provide information with a high level of social scientific reliability and validity, using an unbiased sampling method […], interviewers who were neither government officials or activists, and non-loaded questions that consider a wide range of potential experiences. […] Scholars and policy makers must recognize the impacts of undocumented migration on women. While migration is still largely a male phenomenon, women represent about 14% of Border Patrol apprehensions in the U.S. southwest and 10% of repatriations to Mexico. Women face considerable challenges while crossing the border. About 12% of all respondents have witnessed some form of violence against women during the crossing experience. This includes rape, beatings and even disappearances. The most frequent perpetrators of sexual violence are coyotes and bandits known as bajadores. […]”

 

To download a free PDF of the full report, click here. To learn more about the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona, visit their website.

 

 

7. The Social and Economic Benefits of Women’s Ability to Determine Whether and When to Have Children

 

Adam Sonfield, Kinsey Hasstedt, Megan L. Kavanaugh and Ragnar Anderson

Guttmacher Institute

March 21, 2013

 

“[…] This report summarizes and synthesizes the wealth of studies that have been published in recent years on the social and economic benefits of women’s ability to plan whether and when to have children through obtaining and using effective contraception. We intend for it to provide scientific evidence for what has long been obvious to women, couples and families. It is meant to complement earlier reports and reviews by the Guttmacher Institute and others extensively demonstrating the impact of contraception generally, and publicly supported contraceptive services specifically, in helping women and couples avert unintended pregnancies and the births, abortions and miscarriages that would otherwise follow. […]

 

Using evidence from both historical and current studies, we break down authors’ key findings relating women’s use of effective contraception to time or space births, or abstain from childbearing, with a variety of social and economic outcomes related to educational attainment, workforce participation, economic stability, union formation and stability, mental health and happiness, and the well-being of children. We next address ongoing challenges in the literature, including assessments of the complicated role of socioeconomic disparities as both a cause and an effect of the outcomes studied in this report, as well as gaps in the relevant literature. The review concludes with a discussion of related policy implications. […]”

 

To download a free PDF of the full report, click here. To learn more about the Guttmacher Institute, visit their website.

 

 

 

 

 

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