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

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Do Mothers Stay on the Job? What Employers Can Do to Increase Retention after Childbirth
by IWPR (March 1996)

Seventy percent of women who give birth return to work with the same employer within six months. This retnention rate could be higher, according to research by Jennifer Glass of the University of Iowa, which concludes that mothers need longer parenting leaves, flexible hours, and social supports in the workplace. Available by mail in limited quantities. E-mail iwpr [at] iwpr [dot] org to place an order.

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Are Mommies Dropping Out of the Labor Force? No!
by Janice Hamilton Outzz (March 1996)

Despite a spate of recent news articles reporting a slow down and even reversal of the long-term growth in women's labor force participation-- articles that assume the reversal is led by mothers anxious to stay at home with their children-- the data show that most mothers are continuing to increase their participation in the labor force, even during the current recession. More women are working than ever before. Married mothers and mothers of very young children have increased their labor force participation most.

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Affirmative Action in Employment: An Overview
by Jodi Burns (January 1996)

An IWPR briefing paper providing a review of the employment and wages of white women, black men, and black women relative o white men after implementation of affirmative action policies.


Status of Women in the States: Fact Sheet
by (January 1996)

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The Effectiveness of Equal Employment opportunities Policies
by Heidi Hartmann, M. V. Lee Badgett (November 1995)

A chapter published in Economic Perspectives on Affirmative Action, Margaret C. Simms (ed.), University Press of America, 1995. Reviews quantitative research literature assessing the effectiveness of federal equal employment opportunity policies. Also reviews federal policy and legal requirements for firms, discusses studies examining how policies affect firms' performance and profits, and suggests further research.

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Food Stamp Participation and the Economic Well Being of Single Mothers
by Andrew Groat and Kris Ronan (August 1995)

In new research entitled "Food Stamps and AFDC: A Double Life-Line for Low-Income Single Working Mothers," the Institute for Women's Policy Research shows that eligible families of single working mothers are more likely to participate in the Food Stamp Program during the months in which they receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The study also shows that major losses in family purchasing power occur when they do not receive food stamp benefits but are eligible to do so.

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The Economic Impact of Contingent Work on Women and Their Families
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Ph.D, and Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D (August 1995)

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Contingent Work: Its Consequences for Well-Being, The Gendered Division of Labor, and the Welfare State
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Ph.D, and Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D (August 1995)

#C335, Report, 37 pages
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Unemployment Insurance: Barriers to Access for Women and Part-Time Workers
by Young-Hee Yoon, Roberta Spalter-Roth, and Marc Baldwin (July 1995)

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Providing Paid Family Leave: Estimating the Cost of Expanding California's Disability Insurance Program
by Stephanie Aaronson (June 1995)

Testimony before the U.S. Comission on Family and Medical Leave, San Francisco, CA. Estimates teh cost of expanding California's Temporary Disability INsurance Program and examines the feasibility of using the temporary disability insurance model to provide paid family leave to workers. Argues that paid family and medical elave is economically feasible.

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Unemployment Insurance: Barriers to Access for Women and Part-time Workers
by Young-Hee Yoon, Roberta Spalter-Roth, and Marc Baldwin (June 1995)

This fact sheet is based on the report titled "Unemployment Insurance: Barriers to Access for Women and Part Time Workers."


Children and Families in the District of Columbia: Child Care Needs
by (May 1995)

Washington, D.C. is a city that is in transition. The District of Columbia's population has been declining for several decades. The diversity of the population, e.g., race/ ehnicity, living arrangements, geography has increased, however. The District's child population is a big part of the change. Whole the under age 18 population decreased, the number of births to D.C. residents increased. Child care in the nation's capital, like the nation in general, is essential. the increased labor force participation of mothers, increased poverty rates, and the increasing evidence of positive effects of preschool on poor children, has made understanding the demographics of children and their families very necessary.


Welfare to Work: The Job Opportunities of AFDC Recipients
by (March 1995)

In a frenzy to move welfare recipients off the roles through budget cuts, block grants, time limits, cries to "end welfare as we know it," and attempts to exclude children and young mothers from coverage, little attention has been paid to what works to help current AFDC recipients find work and earn wages that will help them escape poverty. The Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) has conducted research and analysis on the current survival strategies of AFDC recipients. IWPR's most recent phase of this study, welfare That Works: The Working Lives of AFDC Recipients, examines the factors that increase the likelihood that single mothers receiving AFDC engage in paid employment, the kinds of jobs they obtain, and the factors that improve their prospects for obtaining better jobs (and higher incomes). IWPR's research suggests that if employment opportunities are not reformed along with welfare, efforts to reduce the rolls will likely result in increased poverty for many single mothers and their children and increased frustration for tax payers who will see yet another "reform" to go awry.


Welfare That Works: The Working Lives of AFDC Recipients
by (March 1995)

In the latest campaign to move recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) off the welfare rolls through time-limiting benefits and ending entitlements, little attention has been paid to what will work to increase the likelihood that AFDC recipients can find work and earn wages above the barest minimum. In Welfare that Works: The Working Lives of AFDC Recipients, IWPR answers the question of "what works" by examining the current survival strategies of AFDC recipients. IWPR's study focuses on the jobs many women who receive welfare already hold. The study analyzes the factors that increase the likelihood that single mothers receiving AFDC also engage in paid employment, the kinds of jobs that they obtain, and their ability to escape poverty through a combination of work and welfare receipt.

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Women and the Minimum Wage
by Sarah Allore (March 1995)

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Welfare that Works: Increasing AFDC Mother's Employment and INcome
by Roberta Spalter-Roth (February 1995)

Testimony before the Subcommittee on Human Resources, Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, based on IWPR's research on the economic survival strategies of single mothers who receive AFDC. Looks at the family situation of AFDC recipients and the factors that increase the likelihood of paid employment and escaping poverty.

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Temporary Disability Insurance: A Model to Provide Income Security Over the Life Cycle
by Heidi Hartmann, Young-Hee Yoon, Roberta Spalter-Roth, Lois Shaw (January 1995)

An IWPR paper presented at the 1995 Annual Meetings of the American Economics Association of the Allied Social Science Associations. Argues for the need to change the traditional social welfare system to allow for demographic changes, family diversity, and women's need for income replacement across the life cycle. Presents estimates of the cost of extending Temporary Disability Insurance to provide paid family care leave, using California as an example. Available by mail in limited quantities. E-mail iwpr [at] iwpr [dot] org to place an order.


Restructuring Work: How Have Women and Minority Managers Fared?
by (January 1995)

Have the employment opportunities of women and minorities been negatively impacted as a result of corporate and industrial restructuring? A new Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) study, The Impact of the Glass Ceiling and Structural Change on Minorities and Women examines how changes in the workplace in the 1970s and 1980s affected women and minority men.

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Pay Equity and the Wage Gap: Success in the States
by (January 1995)

By 1989, twenty states had implemented programs to raise the wages of workers in female-dominated jobs in their state civil services. According to a joint Institute for Women's Policy Research and Urban Institute study, of the fourteen states for which information was available, all succeeded in increasing the female/male wage ratio in their civil service. Statistical analysis of wages and employment in three states indicates that these adjustments were implemented without substantial negative side effects such as increased unemployment. These findings suggest that pay equity is an effective means of raising women's wages to levels that reduce the impact of discrimination or devaluation. This fact sheet answers many common questions about the wage gap and pay equity based on findings from this study. The data analyzed in the study were collected over a four-year period from the relevant state agencies.

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Micro-Enterprise Catalysts and Barriers: Voices of Low-Income and Poor Women
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Enrique Soto, and Lily Zandniapour (October 1994)

Supporters of micro-enterprise argue that self-employment is a strategy that can improve the economic well being of low-income families and promote economic development in poverty-stricken urban communities. IWPR's study "Micro-Enterprise and Women" investigates self-employment and micro-enterprise as a strategy to enhance the income package of women receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and other low-income women. The development of micro-enterprise ventures among low-income women could contribute to the economic well-being of their families, provided that this activity is viewed as part of an income package rather than as the sole source of family support. Our study links IWPR's previous work on income packaging with our analysis of self employment.

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