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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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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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Pay Equity and Women's Wage Increases: Success in the States, A Model for the Nation
by Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. and Stephanie Aaronson, Ph.D. (October 1994)

Published in the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy By 1989, twenty states had implemented programs to raise the wages of workers in female-dominated job classes in their state civil services. A study of these pay equity programs, conducted by the Institute for Women's Policy Research and the Urban Institute, found that all twenty states were successful in closing the female/male wage gap without substantial negative side effects such as increased unemployment. The extent to which the states succeeded depended on many factors including how much money was spent, the proportion of women affected, and the standard to which female wages were raised. As women's responsibilities for their families' wellbeing increase, it is important to explore policies to raise women's wages to levels that are free from discrimination or cultural devaluation. An American woman working full-time year-round in 1992 earned only 71 percent as much as her male counterpart.

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The Clinton Round: An Analysis of the Impact of Current Proposals to "Free" Single Mothers from Welfare Dependence
by Roberta Spalter-Roth, Ph.D, and Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D (August 1994)

Since its beginnings, there has been heated public debate about whether AFDC should be a relatively ungenerous stop-gap program, or an anti-poverty program specifically designed to meet the needs of families headed by single women. In the latest round of this debate, the growing rhetoric has emerged that AFDC should be a stop-gap program that emphasizes transitions to paid employment rather than "welfare dependency." Is this new round of welfare reform likely to enable more single mothers and their children to live above the poverty level, or will it be another failed attempt to address a problem constructed by political rhetoric? The purpose of this paper to examine the likelihood that current proposals will aid AFDC recipients to bring their families out of poverty. The estimates and analysis are based on the actual income sources and job characteristics of a nationally representative sample of AFDC recipients generated from the 1984-1988 panels of the US Bureau of the Census' Survey of Income and Program Participation. The findings suggest that unless changes are enacted in the low-wage labor market, or income supplementation policies are designed that specifically address the family care needs of these women, many could wind up worse after a transition to work that "frees" them from dependence on welfare. We conclude by suggesting policy strategies that could successfully alter the circumstances of poor single mothers and bring them and their families out of poverty.

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Few Welfare Moms Fit the Stereotypes
by Jill Braustein (August 1994)

In contrast to stereotypes of pathological dependency on public assistance, single mothers participating in the AFDC program actually "package" income from several different sources, including paid employment, means- and non-means tested welfare benefits, and income from other family members, to provide for themselves and their children. These patterns are described in a new Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) study, "Welfare that Works," based on a nationally-representative sample of single welfare mothers generated from the US Bureau of the Census' Survey of Income and Program Participation. The study presents a complex portrait of women who participate in the AFDC program.

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Summary Chart of Documented Cost Savings of Selected Women's Health Services
by Stephanie Aaronson and Nicoletta Karam (August 1994)

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Pay Equity as a Remedy for Wage Discrimination: Success in State Governments
by Heidi Hartmann, Stephanie Aaronson (July 1994)

Testimony concerning the Fair Pay Act of 1994 before the Subcommittee on Select Education and Civil Rights, U.S. House of Representatives Based on findings from teh project The Economic Effects of Pay Equity in the STates. Argues that teh Fair Pay Act would be an effective way to raise women's wages to a level comparable to men's.

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Impact of an Employer Mandate on Women's Access to Health Care
by Young-Hee Yoon and Robin Dennis (July 1994)

President Clinton's proposed Health Security Act (HSA) guarantees all Americans health insurance coverage regardless of their marital status, employment status, or socioeconomic status. A new report by IWPR, Women's Access to Health Insurance, estimates how the workplace guarantee-- or employer mandate-- proposed by the President would affect women's access to health insurance.


Women's Health Insurance Costs and Experiences
by Women's Research and Education Institute (June 1994)

This report is part of the Join Project on Women's Health Care Policy Research of the Women's Research and Education Institute and the Institute for Women's Policy Research. The project was funded by the Kaiser Family Foundation, as part of the Kaiser Health Reform Project. This report focuses on health insurance coverage and expenditures for reproductive and preventive services among women of childbearing age (age 15 to 44). It provides the latest and most comprehensive measures of' the adequacy of women's health insurance coverage for all health care services and for reproductive and preventive health services in particular. Measurements of the adequacy of health insurance coverage used in this report include: 1) the percent of total expenditures covered by health insurance; 2) the level of out-of-pocket expenditures; and 3) out-of-pocket expenditures in relation to income.


Women's Access to Health Insurance: Excerpts
by (June 1994)

Overall, women are more likely than men to have insurance coverage. Our findings show that in 1990, 15 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 64, or 12 million women, are uninsured compared to 19 percent, or 14 million men. Women are less likely to have insurance through their own employers (direct employer-based insurance) than are men.


Women’s Access to Health Insurance
by (June 1994)

Women have a unique relationship to the health care system in the United States that needs to be taken into account in health care reform. Compared with men, women use more health care services and pay more for them as a proportion of their income. They are also responsible for facilitating their families' use of health care and for ensuring the health of infants and children.

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