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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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Women in Telecommunications: Exception to the Rule of Low Pay for Women's Work
by Roberta Spalter-Roth and Heidi Hartmann (May 1992)

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Increasing Working Mother's Earnings: The Importance of Race, Family, and Job Characteristics
by Heidi I. Hartmann, Ph.D, Roberta M. Spalter-Roth, Ph.D (January 1992)


Increasing Working Mothers’ Earnings
by (November 1991)

Previous research on both the earnings of working mothers and the poverty of women-maintained families has employed a sex-segregated model that focuses on family-related characteristics to explain women's low wages or their inferior economic position. These family-related characteristics include such variables as marital status, presence of a full-time working spouse, and number and ages of children. Prior studies also consistently regard working mothers as secondary earners rather than as necessary breadwinners.

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Increasing Working Mother's Earnings
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Ph.D, and Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D (November 1991)

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Science and Politics and the "Dual Vision" of Feminist Policy Research: The Example of Family and Medical Leave
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Ph.D, and Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D (September 1991)

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Improving Women's Status in the Workforce: The Family Issue of the Future
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Heidi Hartmann (July 1991)

Testimony before the Subcommittee on Employment and Productivity, Committee on Labor and Human Resources, U.S. Senate. Presentation of research findings to dispel the "Myth of the Drop-Out Mom". Argues women's wages are becoming more, not less, important for families and provides policy strategies to help improve women's labor froce status and earnings.

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Women's Health in the United States
by Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D (July 1991)

At a Briefing for Congressional Staff Presented by the Campaign for Women's Health: Women and Healthcare in the United States- A Woman's Health Agenda for Health Policy of the 90's.

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Unnecessary Losses:Costs to Americans for the Lack of Family and Medical Leave
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Ph.D, and Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D (May 1991)

Unnecessary Losses concludes that the costs to workers and taxpayers of the current lack of national policy are many times greater than the cost to business of having a national policy. Having a national leave policy would reduce the costs to workers and society of the socially necessary tasks of childbirth, child care and eldercare, or of illness, because having the right to return to their jobs would reduce unemployment and earnings losses for workers who must be absent for these reasons.

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Improving Employment Opportunities for Women
by Heidi Hartmann, Roberta Spalter-Roth (February 1991)

Testimony on H.R. 1 Civil Rights Act of 1991, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor. Describes the importance of women's earnings for family survival, the continued existence of wage and job discrimination, and the effectiveness of civil rights and anti-discrimination policies. Argues that ensuring equal employment opportunities for all workers is needed to strengthen the economy.


How Much Will a Public Service Employment Program Reduce Welfare Costs?
by (January 1991)

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Women's Work, Family Diversity, and Employment Instability: Public Policy Responses to New Realities
by Heidi Hartmann (January 1991)

Testimony before the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC. Argues that public policy assumes a predominantly white male workforce, traditional families, and stable employment patterns. Offers policy suggestions to more accurately reflect the increasing diversity in the labor force, family structure, and instability in employment and to better secure the nation's long term economic health.

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Contingent Work: A Chart Book on Part-Time and Temporary Employment
by Polly Callaghan and Heidi Hartmann (January 1991)

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Working Parents: Differences, Similarities, And the Implications for a Policy Agenda
by Heidi I. Hartmann, Ph.D, Roberta M. Spalter-Roth, Ph.D (November 1990)

This paper has several goals: to describe, for the United States, the universe of working parents and their children; to note the differences and similarities among these parents and children, based on family structure, economic situation and race and ethnicity; and to explore their needs and consider how they can best be addressed by private and public policies.


Improving Employment Opportunities for Women Workers: An Assessment of the Ten Year Economic and Legal Impact of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
by (September 1990)

Issues of rights or equity for working women (and men) promise to continue to be as hotly contested in the 1990s as these issues were in the 1970s and 1980s. Organizations representing women workers have been active over the last two decades in seeking policies that address equity issues for working women along with more traditional demands for better wages and benefits. The context for these issues is the increasing number of women in responsibilities for earning wages while simultaneously bearing or caring for children and other family members.

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Mothers, Children, and Low Wage Work: The Ability to Earn a Family Wage
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Heidi Hartmann, and Linda Andrews (August 1990)

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Mothers, Children, and Low-Wage Work: The Ability to Earn a Family Wage
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Ph.D., Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., and Linda M. Andrews (August 1990)

In this paper we investigate the ability of women workers to earn a family wage–a wage adequate to support the worker, two children, and the services of a "housewife substitute" at or above the poverty level; how this ability varies by race, ethnicity, and marital status; the implications for children's poverty; and the extent to which income-support programs function as a substitute for a family wage.


The Minimum Wage Increase a Working Woman’s Issue
by (June 1990)

Equal pay is a fundamental issue affecting working families. While the number of women workers in the labor force has steadily increased, the contribution of women's wages to family income has also grown, with women's earnings now providing a significant portion of total household income. Although the wage gap has narrowed over the years, pay inequity remains, and there continues to be a significant portion of total household income. Although the wage gap has narrowed over the years, pay inequity remains, and there continues to be significant differences in wages paid to women, minorities, men, and non-minorities. If women were to receive wages equal to those of comparable men, working families across the United States would gain s staggering $200 billion in family income annually, with each working woman's family gaining more that $4,000 per year. In a new joint study, the Institute for Women's Policy research and the AFL-CIO investigate the size of the wage gap in the United States as well as in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The study demonstrates the costs of pay inequity to both working families and individuals, and reveals some alarming figures as to how much family income is lost on account of the wage gap and unequal pay for comparable work.


Unnecessary Losses to African American Workers
by (April 1990)

When a person temporarily leaves their employment because of the arrival of a child, illness of a family member, or her or his own illness, economic costs arise for three groups: workers, employers, and society. Workers in the U.S. lose enormous amounts in earnings from absence due to illness and family care-- an estimated $100 billion annually. Of these losses, at least $12 billion can be attributed to the lack of job protected leave. In addition, there are substantial outlays by taxpayers for unemployment compensation, welfare payments, Supplemental Security Income, etc. when workers do not have the right to return to their jobs-- an estimated $4.3 billion.


Unnecessary Losses: Costs to Americans of the Lack of Family and Medical Leave
by Roberta M. Spalter-Roth and Heidi Hartmann (April 1990)


Low Wages for Secretaries and Clerical Workers in Indiana: A State Without A Collective Bargaining Agreement
by (April 1990)

Secretarial and clerical work (now labelled administrative support occupations) is the largest women's occupational category in the U.S. Of the 14.2 million full-time workers in these occupations, 80 percent are women. Almost three-quarters are employed in occupations that are at least 70 percent female including typists, bookkeepers, general support clerks and data entry clerks. Of these female- intensive occupations, secretarial work in the largest with 3.2 million full-time workers. An additional 3.8 million workers are employed part time in these occupations. Of these part-time workers, 86 percent are women.

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