Misra, Joya, and Eiko Strader. 2013. “Gender Pay Equity in Advanced Countries: The Role of Parenthood and Policies.” Journal of International Affairs. 67(1): 27-41.

Figure2ABSTRACT: Despite dramatic changes in women’s re-presentation in employment, the gender gap in pay remains substantial in most advanced, wealthy countries. Our analyses show the important role that parenthood plays in explaining the gender wage gap. While childless women’s wages are converging with that of childless men, mothers’ wages are substantially lower than fathers’ wages in many countries. Fathers earn bonuses relative to childless men, while mothers suffer penalties relative to childless women. Even though the gender gap for childless workers has been declining over time, the motherhood penalty remains stable, controlling for a variety of factors such as education and experience. We show how the gender gap, motherhood penalties, and fatherhood bonuses differ across a range of wealthy countries. Furthermore, we discuss how maternity leaves, paternity leaves, parental leaves, and publicly subsidized childcare can help address these inequalities by helping parents-both men and women-engage in employment and caregiving. Finally, we argue that policies need to target wage inequality not only by gender, but also by parenthood.


Strader, Eiko. Under Review. “Immigration Impacts on Native-Born Women: Queuing, Competition, and Care Outsourcing Raise and Erode Native Earnings.”

MET_MULTIABSTRACT: The rhetoric against immigration mostly focuses on the economic threat to low-skilled native men. Rather than treating immigrants as homogenously low skilled and native workers as homogenously male, this study conceptualizes the wage effects of immigration as the result of raced, classed, and gendered queuing and competition labor market processes, as well as impacting household production decisions. I examine the impact of immigration on class and racially heterogeneous native-born full-time workingwomen across the largest 100 metropolitan statistical areas while controlling for city-level residual wage, an important pull factor of immigration. My analyses demonstrate that outsourcing of household production through increased supply of foreign-born domestic workers raises the relative earnings position of both white and minority mothers, including those with low education. Results also show that both job queuing and competition are at play, supporting the view that immigration exacerbates and erode earnings inequalities among different groups of native female workers. These findings have policy implications concerning the continued reliance on market provision of care services for addressing the care deficit, as well as rejecting one-dimensional opposition to immigration.


Eiko Strader with Jennifer H. Lundquist H. and Devah Pager. Under Review. “Does a Criminal Past Predict Worker Performance? Evidence from America’s Largest Employer.”

Figure6ABSTRACT: In one of the first systematic evaluations of ex-felony offenders in the workplace, we assess whether the common reasons employers give against hiring criminals are borne out in the rare instances when they are hired. Using original data assembled from military records that we received through a FOIA request, we follow 1.3 million ex-offender and non-offender enlistees who enlisted during 2002-2009. We find that individuals who have been arrested for felony-level offenses have similar attrition rates to those with no criminal record. Statistical models show they are no more likely to be discharged for the negative reasons employers often assume. In fact, the only cause of abbreviated service that appears to differ significantly for those with and without serious criminal records is a higher rate of death in the course of service observed among our sample members with criminal records. As for promotional trajectories, we find that individuals with felony-level criminal backgrounds are promoted more quickly and to higher ranks than other enlistees. We conclude that the military’s criminal forgiveness process holds promise for the civilian sector, showing that proper screening can result in success to the mutual benefit of employers and individuals with criminal histories.


Strader, Eiko, and Joya Misra. Forthcoming. “Poverty and Income Inequality.” in The Cambridge Handbook of Social Problems.

Figure2ABSTRACT: Global-scale economic crisis has brought renewed attention to issues of poverty and inequality, yet we often fail to critically examine what we mean by inequality. Poverty and inequality are social constructions; therefore, how they are defined has important implications for how societies understand and address inequality. This chapter provides an overview on measures and concepts used to study poverty and income inequality from a comparative perspective. We discuss the issue of poverty and consider how social citizenship framework of T.H. Marshall opens new ways of understanding inequality. Increasing inequality has created a new class of poor, who are not only materially deprived, but are also deprived of political and cultural life, unable to participate fully as a member of a society, or are “socially excluded.” We argue that clarifying what we mean by social rights allow us to more concretely discuss the concepts of needs, equality and social inclusion.

Strader, Eiko, and Joya Misra. 2015. “Anti-Poverty Policies and the Structure of Inequality.” Pp. 259-267 in Routledge Handbook on Poverty in the United States, edited by Haymes Stephen, Maria Vidal de Haymes, and Reuben Miller. New York: Routledge.


Misra, JoyaStephanie MollerEiko Strader, and Elizabeth Wemlinger. 2012. “Family Policies, Employment and Poverty Among Partnered and Single Mothers.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. 30(1): 113-128.

Figure2ABSTRACT: The risk of poverty for single mothers ranges from less than 2% in Sweden to more than 35% in the United States; less extreme cross-national variations also exist for partnered mothers. We explore which family policies are most effective at directly reducing poverty among families with children, and whether these policies indirectly reduce poverty through supporting mothers’ employment. We combine microdata from the Luxembourg Income Study with the Work-Family Policy Indicators dataset, and use multilevel logistic regressions to examine the associations between policy and poverty, controlling for individual-level factors. We find significant effects of family allowances, generous parental leaves and childcare provisions, with more powerful effects for single mothers. We further show that parental leave and childcare operate through boosting mothers’ employment, illustrating that work-family policies are useful for reducing poverty by enhancing mother’s employment.


Moller, StephanieJoya Misra, and Eiko Strader. 2013. “A Cross-National Look at How Welfare States Impact Inequality.” Sociology Compass. 7(2): 135-146.

ABSTRACT: A major shift in welfare state research occurred at the turn of the century as researchers moved from explaining the development of welfare states and variations in spending across welfare states to a focus on welfare state outcomes. One of the key outcomes examined in the literature is inequality. While much of the early literature examined overall spending, followed by analysis of specific taxes and transfers related to old age, unemployment, disability, health, and families, more recent research has included a broader range of welfare state policies including work-family policies and flexicurity. This essay highlights some important developments in the research on welfare states and inequality.

Gupta, SanjivJennifer H Lundquist, and Eiko Strader. Under Review. “The Cage and the Fortress: U.S. Prisoners and Soldiers in the Coercive Welfare State.”

ABSTRACT: Previous scholarship characterizes the U.S. as a “liberal” welfare state that provides limited support to its neediest citizens. We theorize and document a large, shadow welfare state consisting of the U.S. military and penal system. Together these institutions provide millions of people near-free health care and other costly supports regardless of recipients’ means. But these benefits come at the expense of fundamental political rights. Soldiers can be ordered to risk death, mutilation and lasting trauma. Prisoners lose their right to vote, and can be denied jobs and housing even after leaving prison. We present the first systematic comparison of benefits data from regular welfare agencies, the military and the penal system. Our analysis reveals a welfare regime that is intrinsically undemocratic and heavily subsidized, that is, illiberal. Further, this coercive welfare state “serves” racial minorities disproportionately. Our study raises basic questions about the nature of citizenship in the U.S.

Moller, StephanieJoya Misra,  Eiko Strader, and Elizabeth Wemlinger. Working Paper. “Policy Interventions and Relative Incomes of Households with Children by Family Structure and Parental Education.”

ABSTRACT: Cross-nationally, scholars conceptualize welfare states as systems of stratification, reinforcing status distinctions between groups, as well as systems granting social rights to citizens. With growing inequality in the post-industrial era, it is particularly important to understand the role of the state in reinforcing or ameliorating inequality. We focus our attention to a particular population – households with children, since there has been substantial polarization in income among these households. We consider how welfare state interventions affect a broad array of households that differ on crucial characteristics such as family structure and parental education. Focusing on European and North American welfare states between 1985 and 2007, we illustrate which households benefit in different policy contexts.