Informing policy. Inspiring change. Improving lives.
1200 18th Street NW, Suite 301
Washington, DC 20036
202 785-5100

Research News Roundup: January 2015


New Report: America May be Ready for a Female President, but Female CEOs? Not So Much

By Brigid Schulte | January 14, 2015

“Why are so few women in positions of power in business and politics? The list of reasons – or excuses, or accusations – is long: Women don’t lean in. Family responsibilities weigh them down. Old boy networks keep them out. Wednesday morning, the Pew Research Center released a new survey that finds something else entirely: Women don’t reach the upper echelons in leadership because 1. They’re held to higher standards and 2. Americans aren’t ready. Those were the top two reasons for the dearth of women leaders chosen by 1,835 randomly selected adults who responded recently to Pew Research’s online survey.”

Citing: Women and Leadership: Public Says Women Are Equally Qualified, but Barriers Persist, Pew Research Center

Tweet This | Read Full Article | Download PDF

What’s Behind the Gender Inequality in America’s Boardrooms?

By Bryce Covert | January 13, 2015

“The latest numbers released today by the research group Catalyst show that women make up 19.2 percent of board positions on U.S. companies in the S&P 500. Perhaps more impressive is that 131 companies, or 26.2 percent of the S&P 500, have boards that are a quarter or more female. Just 18 companies, or 3.6 percent, have failed to appoint any women to their boards at all. […] Brande Stellings, vice president of Catalyst Corporate Board Services, thinks there’s reason to be optimistic. The number of companies without any women on their boards ‘is very low and indicative at least of a shift toward companies realizing it is no longer acceptable to have no women board directors in this day and age,’ she said. […] The challenge is getting all companies to gender equality.”

Citing: 2014 Catalyst Census: Women Board Directors, Catalyst

Tweet This | Read Full Article | Download PDF

Study Finds Local Taxes Hit Lower Wage Earners Harder

By Patricia Cohen | January 13, 2015

“When it comes to the taxes closest to home, the less you earn, the harder you’re hit. That is the conclusion of an analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy that evaluates the local tax burden in every state, from Washington, labeled the most regressive, to Delaware, ranked as the fairest of them all. According to the study, in 2015 the poorest fifth of Americans will pay on average 10.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the middle fifth will pay 9.4 percent and the top 1 percent will average 5.4 percent. ‘Virtually every state’s tax system is fundamentally unfair,’ the report concludes. ‘Unfair tax systems not only exacerbate widening income inequality in the short term, but they also will leave states struggling to raise enough revenue to meet their basic needs in the long term.’”

Citing: Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States, Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy

Tweet This | Read Full Article | Download PDF

15 States Get an F in Reproductive Health

By Jill Filipovic | January 8, 2015

“If America were a student, it would probably be grounded this weekend. Today, the Population Institute released its annual report card on reproductive health and rights, and 15 states got big fat Fs: Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming. Only four states got As: California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. The national average is a C, and no states in the South earned achieved any higher than that.”

Citing: The State of Reproductive Health and Rights: A 50-State Report Card, Population Institute

Obama to Decide Whether You Deserve Overtime Pay

By Dave Jamieson | January 6, 2015

“Last year, as part of his plan to raise wages through executive action, the president ordered the Labor Department to revise the rules that determine which workers are eligible for overtime pay. Under the Depression-era Fair Labor Standards Act, hourly workers earn time-and-a-half for hours worked beyond 40 in a week. […] The rules are complicated, but mostly boil down to what's known as the salary threshold. If you earn below a certain amount in a year, you're automatically qualified for overtime, no matter your work duties. […] Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank influential on Democratic policymaking, told HuffPost that his talks with White House personnel lead him to believe they're leaning toward a modest threshold of perhaps $42,000. That would cover 35 percent of salaried workers, according to Eisenbrey's calculations.”

Citing: Where Should the Overtime Salary Threshold Be Set? A Comparison of Four Proposals to Increase Overtime Coverage, Economic Policy Institute

Tweet This | Read Full Article | Download PDF


Building Momentum: Proactive Reproductive Health and Rights Legislation in the States

Jordan Goldberg and Rose MacKenzie | National Institute for Reproductive Health | January 2015

“Legislators in nearly two-thirds of all states considered and/or enacted policies in 2014 intended to increase women’s access to sexual and reproductive health care and protect their right to make their own reproductive decisions, according to a year-end report released by the National Institute for Reproductive Health. Building Momentum: Proactive Reproductive Health and Rights Legislation in the States shows how advocates across the country last year advanced more state-based policies than in any session in recent decades. This new effort seeks to improve women’s reproductive health and reduce the harms caused by limited access to these services, which has been exacerbated by the regressive political and policy environment that has characterized so many state legislatures in recent years. The report documents more than 70 bills introduced in 32 states, more than 30 of which became law by the end of 2014, in an effort to highlight the legislative trends that are emerging in this growing state-based movement.”

Tweet This | Download PDF

Medicaid as an Investment in Children: What is the Long-term Impact on Tax Receipts?

David Brown, Amanda Kowalski, Ithai Lurie | National Bureau of Economic Research | January 2015

“We examine the long-term impact of expansions to Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program that occurred in the 1980's and 1990's. With administrative data from the IRS, we calculate longitudinal health insurance eligibility from birth to age 18 for children in cohorts affected by these expansions, and we observe their longitudinal outcomes as adults. Using a simulated instrument that relies on variation in eligibility by cohort and state, we find that children whose eligibility increased paid more in cumulative taxes by age 28. These children collected less in EITC payments, and the women had higher cumulative wages by age 28.”

Tweet This | Download PDF

Valuing All Our Families: Progressive Policies that Strengthen Family Commitments and Reduce Family Disparities

Shawn Fremstad and Melissa Boteach | Center for American Progress | January 2015

“While research overwhelmingly shows that a strong family unit means improved stability for children and adults, the public debate around family units has largely tended to pit the advantages of families headed by married couples against the disadvantages of single-parent homes. In order to move this debate past such simple binary terms, the Center for American Progress today released a report that introduces a new framework for discussing family policy, broadening the debate beyond just family structure to include family stability and strength—a new framework that CAP refers to as the three S’s. CAP’s report offers both new and tested social and economic policy solutions to combat the instability that can affect low-income and middle-class American families.”

Tweet This | Download PDF

Health Reform Not Causing Significant Shift to Part-Time Work

Paul N. Van de Water | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | January 2015

“Congressional leaders have tentatively scheduled a House vote early in January on a measure to raise the threshold for health reform’s employer mandate from 30 to 40 hours. The health reform law requires employers with at least 50 full-time-equivalent workers to offer health coverage to employees who work 30 or more hours a week or pay a penalty. House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell call the 30-hour threshold ‘an arbitrary and destructive government barrier to more hours’ of work and propose raising it to 40 hours. In reality, however, that step would lead to fewer hours of work for employees and more part-time work — the exact opposite of what their rhetoric about ‘restoring’ the 40-hour work week implies.”

Tweet This | Download PDF

Single Mothers’ EITC Receipt Dynamics

Bradley Heim and Ithai Lurie | Social Science Research Network | January 2015

This paper uses a 1987-2006 panel of tax returns to examine how EITC claiming behavior among single mothers changed following the 1990s EITC expansions and the passage of welfare reform. We find that the continuation rate of being a claimant increased, while exits to non-primary-filer status decreased (particularly among longer-term claimants). Entrants from non-primary-filer status increased as well. We find that the increase in the EITC maximum helps to explain much of the increase in continuation rates, while the reduction in AFDC/TANF maximum benefits and the increase in maximum EITC amounts help to explain the decrease in exits to non-primary-filer.”

Tweet This | Download PDF

Manage Email Preferences

Go to Home Page