Informing policy. Inspiring change. Improving lives.
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Washington, DC 20036
202 785-5100


IWPR publishes its research in formats ranging from short fact sheets to longer form research reports. The Institute publishes on topics addressing the policy needs of women, including pay equity, retirement security, family leave, paid sick days, and employment.

For a full overview of our research areas and to view publications by topic, please visit our Initiatives area. All publications are available for free download on our website or you may choose to buy them through the Google Checkout icon to the right of the publication listing.  To request a publication by phone or e-mail, please contact Mallory Mpare at 202-785-5100 or

Browse our publications below or use our Publication Finder to search for what you're looking for.

Latest Reports from IWPR

Making Research Count for Women: Launching the Next 25 Years
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2013)


The Truth in the Data: How Quantifying Women’s Labor Market Experiences Changes the Conversation about the Economy
by Ariane Hegewisch, Maxwell Matite, and Youngmin Yi (May 2013)

From the outset, IWPR has highlighted the wage gap as a key indicator of women’s economic security and gender (in)equality in the workplace. Fact sheets on the overall gender wage gap were published in IWPR’s first years and document how much the earnings ratio between men and women changed over time, as well as how earnings for different groups of women varied over this period of time. From 1996 onwards, the Institute’s research program on the Status of Women in the States has made these data available on a state-by-state basis, including in the report Women's Economic Status in the States: Wide Disparities by Race, Ethnicity, and Region (published in 2004). IWPR also provides state-by-state wage data in Femstats, a section of its website, in spreadsheet form. IWPR’s research has also linked trends in the wage gap to policy developments, changes in the economy, and ongoing changes in women’s lives. Such trends as later marriage, reduced fertility, gains in education, the growth of low-wage jobs and contingent work in the U.S. economy, and changes in the minimum wage, equal employment opportunity enforcement, and collective bargaining all affect women’s opportunities in the labor market, including their labor force participation and the amount of sex segregation they face in employment. IWPR’s studies have ranged from detailed examinations of specific industries to analyses of trends affecting the entire economy.


Investing in Success: How Quality Early Child Care, Education, and Workforce Training Improve the Well-Being of Girls and Women
by Holly Firlein, Barbara Gault, Ph.D., and Bethany Nelson (May 2013)

Recognizing that education is the gateway to opportunity, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) has been a significant source of research on education and training, including work on early care and education, girls' experiences in the K-12 system, high quality workforce development opportunities, and postsecondary attainment. Its work has explored the importance of education for improving women's earnings, the importance of access to quality early care and education for mothers’ labor force outcomes, methods for improving job quality among early care and education providers, the role of child care in spurring and sustaining economic development, the importance of low-income women's access to postsecondary education as a poverty reduction tool, strategies for increasing the success of student parents in college through providing child care and other supports, and inceasing women's representation in higher paying, traditionally male careers such as in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.


Enhancing the Status of Women: How Engaging Women in Leadership Creates a More Inclusive Democracy and Improves Women’s Lives
by Elyse Shaw, Drew McCormick, Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., and Barbara Gault, Ph.D. (May 2013)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has been at the forefront of research on issues and policies that affect women’s continued participation and leadership in society and politics. Through its analysis of the issues of greatest importance to women in society, IWPR has greatly contributed to social and policy changes. The research done by IWPR in the area of democracy and society across the years has shown the ways in which American society benefits from the advancement of women in leadership positions and women’s increased civic and political engagement. IWPR’s research also highlights policy changes that would help women achieve greater equity. IWPR continues to work both internationally and domestically to provide relevant data on issues of importance to women’s lives and has disseminated its research through various conferences to ensure that advocates and policymakers alike have the tools to enable them to participate in making policy changes that benefit women and their families.


Health, Safety, Violence, and Disaster: How Economic Analysis Improves Outcomes for Women and Families
by Susan Martin, Ph.D. and Youngmin Yi (May 2013)

IWPR’s women’s health and safety efforts highlight the social and economic aspects of health, safety, and security issues. Over the past quarter century, the Institute has addressed women’s access to health insurance, the costs and benefits of preventive health services, reproductive health and rights, including the economic benefits of economic freedom, and the link between women’s socioeconomic status and health. IWPR’s examinations of safety issues have drawn attention to domestic violence as well as the effects of terrorism and disasters on women’s well-being. Its research has informed policy decisions by identifying both the limitations on access to health care services and ways to expand access, as well as the gender and racial/ethnic disparities in health outcomes. The Institute’s reports and resources have addressed a range of policy issues such as access to paid sick days including analyses of the health benefits of providing paid sick-days, breastfeeding protections under the Affordable Care Act, and in-home services for the elderly and others who need long-term care. For example, IWPR’s fact sheets and briefing papers include a 1994 analysis of the proposed Clinton health care reform o access to health insurance for women of color, a policy update on abortion since the passage of Roe v. Wade, published in 2003, and an estimate in 2012 of potential benefits and cost savings, focused on savings from reduced emergency room use, anticipated with the adoption of mandatory paid sick days in New York City.


The Gendered Dynamics of Income Security: How Social Science Research Can Identify Pathways Out of Poverty and Toward Economic Security
by Courtney Kishbaugh and Jeffrey Hayes, Ph.D. (May 2013)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) addressed issues of women, poverty and income security issues from its beginnings. IWPR’s first publication on these topics, Low-Wage Jobs and Workers: Trends and Options for Change (published in 1989), finds a growing share of adults working in low-wage jobs and a growing share of families relying on low-wage work for a major share of family income. It also finds that women and people of color are far more likely to work in low-wage jobs than white males. Federal or federally-funded data sets analyzed for the study included the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and the Panel Study on Income Dynamics (PSID). Low-Wage Jobs and Workers, a report funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and jointly disseminated with the non-profit Women Work! (then the National Displaced Homemakers Network), became the first of many influential policy pieces centered on poverty and income security. Since then, IWPR has continued to expand its research on poverty issues, focusing primarily on the topics of Social Security and older women’s economic security, welfare reform and its impact on women and children, the impact of unemployment on low-income women and their families, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast region. IWPR’s work has shed light on the experiences and needs of particularly vulnerable and underserved communities, inspired national and international conversations about these issues, and informed policy change.


Women’s Share of Seats in Congress, 1960-2013 with Projection for Political Parity in 2121
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2013)


Maternity, Paternity, and Adoption Leave in the United States
by Yuko Hara and Ariane Hegewisch (May 2013)

The United States is one of only four countries globally, and the only high-income country, without a statutory right to paid maternity leave for employees. In all but a few states, it is up to the employer to decide whether to provide paid leave. This briefing paper summarizes employees’ legal rights in relation to pregnancy, childbirth and adoption, and nursing breaks, and examines how far employers are voluntarily moving to provide paid parental leave beyond basic legal rights. It draws on three data sources: leave benefits offered by Working Mother magazine’s “100 Best Companies,” the Family and Medical Leave Act in 2012 Survey, and the National Compensation Survey. This briefing paper finds that the large majority of the “100 Best Companies” provides paid maternity leave, and many provide paid leave for adoption or paternity leave, although only a small minority provides pay during the full 12 weeks of FMLA leave. Among employers more broadly, a third (35 percent) of employees work for an employer offering paid maternity leave, and a fifth (20 percent) paid paternity leave, according to the FMLA 2012 Survey. According to the National Compensation Survey, only 12 percent of employees in the United States have access to paid leave for any care of family members (newborns, adopted children, or ill children or adults). Lower paid workers are least likely to have access to paid leave. International research suggests that the introduction of a statutory right to paid leave for parents would improve the health and economic situations of women and children and would promote economic growth.


Access to Earned Sick Days in Oregon
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2013)

An analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) reveals that about 596,800 private sector employees in Oregon lack even a single earned sick day. Access to earned sick days promotes healthy work environments by reducing the spread of illness,1,2 increasing productivity,3 and supporting work and family balance.4 Earned sick days allow people to take time off work to recover from illness and to tend to family members’ health without the fear of lost pay or other negative consequences. This briefing paper presents estimates of lack of earned sick days access rates in Oregon by occupation, by sex, race and ethnicity, personal annual earnings, and work schedule through analysis of government data sources, including the 2010–2011 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the 2009–2011 American Community Survey (ACS).


Job Growth Improves for Women in April 2013; Men Gained Fewer Jobs
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2013)

According to the IWPR analysis of the May employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for women improved in April compared to the previous month. Of the 165,000 total jobs added to nonfarm payrolls, women gained 117,000 jobs (71 percent) while men gained 48,000 jobs (29 percent).

Preview not available

Access to Earned Sick Days in Oregon
by (May 2013)


Valuing Good Health in Vermont: The Costs and Benefits of Earned Health Care Time
by Claudia Williams with assistance from Jasmin Griffin and Jeffrey Hayes (April 2013)

The briefing paper uses data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Vermont Department of Health, and the U.S. Census Bureau to evaluate costs and benefits of Vermont’s H.208. It estimates how much time off Vermont 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, minimized nursing-home stays, and reduced norovirus outbreaks in nursing homes. The study is one of a series of analyses by IWPR examining the effects of earned health care time policies.


The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation
by Ariane Hegewisch and Maxwell Matite (April 2013)

Women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations, whether they work in occupations predominantly done by women, occupations predominantly done by men, or occupations with a more even mix of men and women. During 2012, median weekly earnings for female full-time workers were $691, compared with $854 per week for men, a gender wage ratio of 80.9 percent (Table 1; a gender wage gap of 19.1 percent).1 Added to the gender wage gap within occupations is the gender wage gap between occupations. Male-dominated occupations tend to pay more than female-dominated occupations at similar skill levels, particularly in jobs that require higher educational levels.2 Tackling occupational segregation is an important part of eliminating the gender wage gap.


Job Growth Slows for Both Women and Men
by The Institute for Women's Policy Research (April 2013)

#Q008 updated, Quick Figures, 2 pages

At Current Pace of Progress, Wage Gap for Women Expected to Close in 2057
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (April 2013)


Women and the Care Crisis: Valuing In-Home Care in Policy and Practice
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D., (April 2013)

The paper suggests that to improve the quality of in-home care jobs, address the industry’s anticipated labor shortage, and ensure that high-quality care is available in the United States, it is necessary to increase the value attributed to care work through critical changes in public policies and practices. These changes would benefit not only the women and men who are care workers or recipients, but also the nation overall. As a sector in which job growth is especially rapid, the care industry is integral to the U.S. economy; as a result, any changes that help to fill the gap in this industry and improve conditions for its workforce will strengthen the nation’s economy as a whole.


Quality Employment for Women in the Green Economy: Industry, Occupation, and State-by-State Job Estimates
by Ariane Hegewisch, Jeff Hayes, Ph.D., Tonia Bui, Anlan Zhang (April 2013)

This report provides the first-ever estimates of women’s employment in the green economy, state-by-state, by industry, and by occupation. The analysis draws on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey; the Brookings-Battelle Clean Economy database; and the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Green Goods and Services survey. The report examines women’s share of employment in the occupations predicted to see the highest growth in the green economy and includes two alternative state-by-state estimates for growth in green jobs. Focusing on investments in green buildings and retrofits, the report includes a state-by-state analysis of employment in key construction occupations by age, race, ethnicity, and gender. This report was funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Sustainable Employment in a Green US Economy (SEGUE) Program. It is the first of a series of publications investigating strategies for improving women’s access to quality employment in the green economy; future reports will address good practices in workforce development for women in the green economy.

#C402, Report, 72 pages

The Costs and Benefits of Paid Sick Days: Testimony of Jeffrey A. Hayes, Ph.D., Before the Civil Service and Labor Committee of the New York City Council regarding Proposed Int. No. 97-A: The "Earned Sick Time Act"
by Jeff Hayes, Ph.D. (March 2013)


Valuing Good Health in New York City: The Costs and Benefits of Earned Sick Days
by Claudia Williams (March 2013)


Education Data Show Gender Gap in Career Preparation
by National Coalition of Women and Girls in Education and the National Coalition on Women, Jobs and Job Training (March 2013)

This report was prepared as a summary of an analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, the National Women’s Law Center, and Wider Opportunities for Women, under the auspices of the National Coalition of Women and Girls in Education and the National Coalition on Women, Jobs and Job Training.

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