Member Publication: Part-time by Gender, Not Choice: The Gender Gap in Involuntary Part-time Work

Please check out the recent publication by OOW members Corey Pech, Elizabeth Klainot-Hess, and Davon Norris. “Part-time by Gender, not Choice: The Gender Gap in Involuntary Part-Time Work,” Sociological Perspectives, Online First.


Gender inequality in the labor market is a key focus of stratification research. Increasingly, variation in hours worked separates men and women’s employment experiences. Though women often voluntarily work part-time at higher rates than men, involuntary part-time work is both analytically distinct from voluntary part-time work and leaves workers economically precarious. To date, researchers have not systematically investigated gender disparities in involuntary part-time work in the United States. Utilizing Current Population Survey data, we test for a gender gap in involuntary part-time work and evaluate two potential mechanisms: occupational segregation and penalties for care work. We find that women are much more likely than men to work in involuntary part-time positions. Occupational segregation and a care work penalty partially, but not fully, explain this gap. Findings extend existing theories of gender inequality in the workforce and show how an underresearched dimension of job quality creates gender stratification in the United States.

Member Publication: Stuck: Why Asian Americans Don’t Reach the Top of the Corporate Ladder

Please check out the forthcoming publication by OOW member Margaret M. Chin. 2020. Stuck: Why Asian Americans Don’t Reach the Top of the Corporate Ladder. New York: NYU Press. 

The book will be released on August 11, 2020. Here is a short description:

A behind-the-scenes examination of Asian Americans in the workplace 

In the classroom, Asian Americans, often singled out as so-called “model minorities,” are expected to be top of the class. Often they are, getting straight As and gaining admission to elite colleges and universities. But the corporate world is a different story. As Margaret M. Chin reveals in this important new book, many Asian Americans get stuck on the corporate ladder, never reaching the top. 

In Stuck, Chin shows that there is a “bamboo ceiling” in the workplace, describing a corporate world where racial and ethnic inequalities prevent upward mobility. Drawing on interviews with second-generation Asian Americans, she examines why they fail to advance as fast or as high as their colleagues, showing how they lose out on leadership positions, executive roles, and entry to the coveted boardroom suite over the course of their careers. An unfair lack of trust from their coworkers, absence of role models, sponsors and mentors, and for women, sexual harassment and prejudice especially born at the intersection of race and gender are only a few of the factors that hold Asian American professionals back. 

Ultimately, Chin sheds light on the experiences of Asian Americans in the workplace, providing insight into and a framework of who is and isn’t granted access into the upper echelons of American society, and why. 

Order online from the NYU Press website. Use promo code STUCK30 at checkout for 30% off and free shipping.

New Publication: Special Issue of Work and Occupations: Consequences of Change in Healthcare for Organizations, Workers, and Patients

Please check out the new Special Issue of Work and Occupations:

Consequences of Change in Healthcare for Organizations, Workers,
and Patients

Guest Editors: Ariel C. Avgar (Cornell University), Adrienne E. Eaton
(Rutgers University), Rebecca Kolins Givan (Rutgers University), and Adam Seth Litwin (Cornell University)

A pandemic of as yet unknown duration is changing the world. We do not know exactly how, but we can be certain this global crisis will upend governments and challenge the established social order. While the edifice of healthcare provision may well be transformed, institutions, relationships and path-dependent structures will determine precisely how this transpires and what system will emerge on the other side. While the research presented in this special issue was completed before the Covid-19 pandemic arrived, the articles all shed light on how healthcare organizations can and will respond to this unprecedented challenge. The current crisis has highlighted a host of shortcomings in existing employment models, training, incentives, use of technology, supply chains, funding and investment, and so much more. What is certain, though, is that healthcare systems and organizations must change. The articles in this special issue suggest the most appropriate direction of change. Centering the needs of employees generally and, more specifically, employee voice and professional expertise, quality care, and investment in healthcare provision itself rather than bureaucracy or administration related to payment systems will prove critical.

Menchik focuses on doctors’ (i.e., cardiologists’) adoption of a new robotic technology that mediates between the doctors’ hands and the patient. He develops a two-factor typology of individual approaches to adopting the new technology focused at one axis on the degree to which a doctor is influenced by their initial training and at the other, the influence from current colleagues. Also examining the link between work and technology, Wu compares the use of paper records to tablet computers for recording data on patient encounters by home health aides. Managers in the paper system mediated between the paper records created by direct care providers and the institutions’ official records; those in the tablet system are reduced to teaching and exhorting direct care workers to properly use their tablets. VanHeuvelen and Grace examine the move from a multi occupancy ward design to single-patient rooms. They find that occupational groups differed in their embrace or resistance to the change with some groups focused on the impact on patient care and others more on changes to working conditions. Wiedner et al. examine an explicit attempt to change occupational roles in the English National Health Service by shifting elements of budgetary responsibility from career managers to physicians. They find that tensions among occupational groups, rooted in their differing “dispositions,” can derail an attempt at change. Batt, Kallas, and
Appelbaum compare the labor relations approaches of employers in the healthcare systems in the upstate New York cities of Rochester and Buffalo. They argue that the different historical paths of industrial development in each city drove disparate labor relations approaches with one emphasizing a more positive, cooperative stance by management and the other more anti-union and hostile. In turn, they argue these approaches dictated the different paths healthcare employers in each city took in more recent restructuring.

Paying the Price for a Broken Healthcare System: Rethinking Employment, Labor, and Work in a Post-Pandemic World
Avgar, A., Eaton, A.E., Givan, R.K. and Litwin, A.S.

Occupational Heterogeneity in Healthcare Workers’ Misgivings about Organizational Change
VanHeuvelen, J.S. and Grace, M.K.

Moving From Adoption to Use: Physicians’ Mixed Commitments in Deciding to Use Robotic Technologies
Menchik, D.A.

GPs are from Mars, Administrators are from Venus: The Role of Misaligned Occupational Dispositions in Inhibiting Mandated Role Change
Wiedner, R., Nigam, A. & Bento da Silva, J.

From Timesheets to Tablets: Documentation Technology in Frontline Service Sector Managers’ Coordination of Home Healthcare Services
Wu, T.

Path Dependency Versus Social Unionism in Healthcare: Bringing Employers Back In
Batt, R., Kallas, J. & Appelbaum, E.

Member Publication: Elaborating on the Abstract: Group Meaning-Making in a Colombian Microsavings Program

Please check out the recent publications by OOW members Laura Doering, and Kristen McNeill. 2020. “Elaborating on the Abstract: Group Meaning-Making in a Colombian Microsavings Program.” American Sociological Review. Online First.


Access to formal financial products like savings accounts constitutes a hallmark feature of economic development, but individuals do not uniformly embrace these products. In explaining such financial preferences, scholars have focused on institutional, cultural, and material factors, but they have paid less attention to organizations and small groups. In this article, we argue that these factors are crucial to understanding financial preferences. We investigate a government-sponsored microsavings program in Colombia and find that participants became less interested in banking services over the course of the program, even as they gained access to appropriate accounts and their savings increased. Turning to qualitative data to understand this curious finding, we show that organizational efforts to disseminate abstract information about banking triggered a process of “elaboration” among group members, leading many to develop financial preferences at odds with those promoted by the government. This study integrates insights from economic sociology, organizational theory, and microsociology to advance theories of financial preference. In doing so, we reveal how organizational efforts to compress information, followed by group efforts to personalize and expand upon the information, can shape preferences and potentially undermine organizational goals.

Member Publications

Please check out the recent publications by OOW member Megan Tobias Neely:

2020. “The Portfolio Ideal Worker: Insecurity and Inequality in the New Economy.” Qualitative Sociology 43 (2).

2020. “Essential and Expendable: Gendered Labor in the Coronavirus Crisis.” Palo Alto: Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Stanford University.

2020. “What Will U.S. Labor Protections Look Like After Coronavirus?Harvard Business Review, April 2, 2020.

Member Publication: Crunch Time: How Married Couples Confront Unemployment

Please check out the recent publication by OOW member Aliya Hamid Rao. 2020. Crunch Time: How Married Couples Confront Unemployment. Oakland: University of California Press.

Here is a short description of the book:

In Crunch Time, Aliya Hamid Rao gets up close and personal with college-educated, unemployed men, women, and spouses to explain how comparable men and women have starkly different experiences of unemployment.

Traditionally gendered understandings of work—that it’s a requirement for men and optional for women—loom large in this process, even for marriages that had been not organized in gender-traditional ways. These beliefs serve to make men’s unemployment an urgent problem, while women’s unemployment—cocooned within a narrative of staying at home—is almost a non-issue. Crunch Time reveals the minutiae of how gendered norms and behaviors are actively maintained by spouses at a time when they could be dismantled, and how gender is central to the ways couples react to and make sense of unemployment.

Order online from the UC Press website and save 30% when you use source code 17M6662 at checkout.

Member Publication: National Family Policies and Mothers’ Employment: How Earnings Inequality Shapes Policy Effects across and within Countries

Please check out the recent publication by OOW members Jennifer L. Hook and Eunjeong Paek. 2020. “National Family Policies and Mothers’ Employment: How Earnings Inequality Shapes Policy Effects across and within Countries.” American Sociological Review. Online First.


Although researchers generally agree that national family policies play a role in shaping mothers’ employment, there is considerable debate about whether, how, and why policy effects vary across country contexts and within countries by mothers’ educational attainment. We hypothesize that family policies interact with national levels of earnings inequality to differentially affect mothers’ employment outcomes by educational attainment. We develop hypotheses about the two most commonly studied family policies—early childhood education and care (ECEC) and paid parental leave. We test these hypotheses by establishing a novel linkage between the EU-Labour Force Survey and the Current Population Survey 1999 to 2016 (n = 23 countries, 299 country-years, 1.2 million mothers of young children), combined with an original collection of country-year indicators. Using multilevel models, we find that ECEC spending is associated with a greater likelihood of maternal employment, but the association is strongest for non-college-educated mothers in high-inequality settings. The length of paid parental leave over six months is generally associated with a lower likelihood of maternal employment, but the association is most pronounced for mothers in high-inequality settings. We call for greater attention to the role of earnings inequality in shaping mothers’ employment and conditioning policy effects.

Member Publication: Who to Blame and How to Solve It: Mothers’ Perceptions of Work–Family Conflict Across Western Policy Regimes

Please check out the recent publication by OOW member Caitlyn Collins. 2020. “Who to Blame and How to Solve It: Mothers’ Perceptions of Work–Family Conflict Across Western Policy Regimes.” Journal of Marriage and Family 82 (3): 849–74.



This study compares mothers’ perceptions of work–family conflict in four countries that exemplify different work–family policy approaches: Sweden, Germany, Italy, and the United States.


Scholars have examined the impact of culture and work–family policy on mothers cross‐nationally, primarily using quantitative methods. Thus, sociologists have a good understanding of both work–family policy structures and outcomes, but the intervening processes that play out in working mothers’ daily lives are not well understood.


This article begins to fill this gap, drawing on interviews with 109 middle‐class employed mothers in Stockholm, Berlin, Rome, and Washington, D.C. The author investigates how work–family conflict is mitigated—or not—in countries with policies that reflect different ideals of motherhood, employment, and gender equality.


Interviews reveal confirming evidence of cross‐national variation in mothers’ levels or perceived scope of conflict. Mothers also (a) attribute blame for their work–family conflict to different sources and (b) employ different solutions to resolve it.


Work–family conflict is not an inevitable feature of contemporary life. Rather, it is the product of public policies and cultural attitudes that shape women’s desires, expectations, and behaviors regarding work and family. Elucidating the processes of perception, attribution, and resolution is crucial to understand the political and cultural conditions that facilitate the combination of motherhood and employment.

ILR Review: Open Access of Current Issue about Gender & Employment Relations

See below a message from Rosemary Batt and Lawrence Kahn, editors of ILR Review:


Please take advantage of free downloads of all articles and book reviews in our May special issue on gender and employment relations. Good through June 20, 2020.

The May issue continues our long term interest in and commitment to research on gender and the employment relationship.  It includes research on the impact of sexual orientation on labor market outcomes, gender quotas on corporate boards, the behavior of female managers, and the intersection of religious and gender discrimination.  In addition, the issue includes research on the appropriate use of statistics in assessing the extent of discrimination based on race and gender.  The papers in this issue use unique data and state of the art methods to study an area of great policy importance and public interest.

Also note our special book review section on

Technological Encounters: How New Writing on Technology Can Inform Modern Labor Studies (guest editors Steve Viscelli and Beth Gutelius)

We hope you are well during this difficult crisis.


Rose Batt and Larry Kahn

If you have any difficulty gaining access to articles, please contact Tom Rushmer for your special editorial board member access link – (

ILR Review Volume: 73, Number: 3 (May 2020)


Transgender Status, Gender Identity, and Socioeconomic Outcomes in the United States
Christopher S. Carpenter, Samuel T. Eppink, and Gilbert Gonzales

Abstract: This article provides the first large-scale evidence on transgender status, gender identity, and socioeconomic outcomes in the United States, using representative data from 35 states in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which asked identical questions about transgender status and gender identity during at least one year from 2014 to 2017. More than 2,100 respondents, aged 18 to 64 years, identified as transgender. Individuals who identify as transgender are significantly less likely to be college educated and less likely to identify as heterosexual than are individuals who do not identify as transgender. Controlling for these and other observed characteristics, transgender individuals have significantly lower employment rates, lower household incomes, higher poverty rates, and worse self-rated health compared to otherwise similar men who are not transgender.

Multiple Discrimination against Female Immigrants Wearing Headscarves
Doris Weichselbaumer

Abstract: Western countries have experienced a large influx of Muslim immigrants, and concomitantly the Muslim headscarf has become the subject of major controversy. Drawing on theories of stigma, social identity, and multiple discrimination/intersectionality, this study examines the effect of wearing this headscarf in the German labor market. The author applies the method of correspondence testing that allows measuring discrimination in a controlled field setting. Findings show that when applying for a job in Germany, women with a Turkish migration background are less likely to be invited for an interview, and the level of discrimination increases substantially if the applicant wears a headscarf. The results suggest that immigrant women who wear a headscarf suffer discrimination based on multiple stigmas related to ethnicity and religion.

Hukou Status and Individual-Level Labor Market Discrimination: An Experiment in China
Uwe Dulleck, Jonas Fooken, and Yumei He

Abstract: This article examines discrimination based on hukou status, a legal construct that segregates locals and migrants in urban China. Local and migrant household helpers were recruited as experimental participants to interact in a standard gift exchange game (GEG) as well as a new variant of the GEG, called the wage promising game (WPG). The WPG uses non-binding wage offers and final wages that employers set after observing effort. In the GEG, both statistical and preference-based discrimination may motivate employers to offer lower wages to migrants than to locals, whereas in the WPG the statistical motive is excluded. Results reveal discrimination against migrants and show that preference-based discrimination is an important employer motive.

The Relationship between Prejudice and Wage Penalties for Gay Men in the United States
Ian Burn

Abstract: This article estimates the empirical relationship between prejudicial attitudes toward homosexuality and the wages of gay men in the United States. It combines data on prejudicial attitudes toward homosexuality from the General Social Survey with data on wages from the U.S. Decennial Censuses and American Community Surveys—both aggregated to the state level. The author finds that a one standard deviation increase in the share of individuals in a state who are prejudiced toward homosexuals is correlated with a decrease in the wages of gay men of between 2.7% and 4.0%. The results also suggest that the prejudice of managers is responsible for this correlation. The author finds that a one standard deviation increase in the share of the managers in a state who are prejudiced toward homosexuals is associated with a 1.9% decrease in the wages of gay men. The author finds no evidence that the wage penalty for gay men is correlated with the prejudice of customers or co-workers.

Are Female Managers More Likely to Hire More Female Managers? Evidence from Germany
Mario Bossler, Alexander Mosthaf, and Thorsten Schank

Abstract: This article investigates whether there is state dependence in the gender composition of managers in German establishments; that is, whether the number of hired female managers depends on the past hiring decisions of an establishment. Using administrative data, the authors apply dynamic linear models, thereby accounting for unobserved heterogeneity and the endogeneity of lagged dependent variables. Results show that hiring female managers leads to the hiring of more female managers in the subsequent period. Hiring rates for male managers follow a similar pattern in that they are more likely to hire more male managers.

Winner of the 2019 Best Paper Competition:

LERA/ILR Review Special Series in Employment Relations

Average Gaps and Oaxaca–Blinder Decompositions: A Cautionary Tale about Regression Estimates of Racial Differences in Labor Market Outcomes
Tymon Słoczyński

Abstract: Using a recent result from the program evaluation literature, the author demonstrates that the interpretation of regression estimates of between-group differences in wages and other economic outcomes depends on the relative sizes of subpopulations under study. When the disadvantaged group is small, regression estimates are similar to the average loss for disadvantaged individuals. When this group is a numerical majority, regression estimates are similar to the average gain for advantaged individuals. The author analyzes racial test score gaps using ECLS-K data and racial wage gaps using CPS, NLSY79, and NSW data, and shows that the interpretation of regression estimates varies substantially across data sets. Methodologically, he develops a new version of the Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition, in which the unexplained component recovers a parameter referred to as the average outcome gap. Under additional assumptions, this estimand is equivalent to the average treatment effect. Finally, the author reinterprets the Reimers, Cotton, and Fortin decompositions in the context of the program evaluation literature, with attention to the limitations of these approaches.

Occupational Skill Mismatch: Differences by Gender and Cohort
John T. Addison, Liwen Chen, and Orgul D. Ozturk

Abstract: The authors deploy a measure of occupational mismatch based on the discrepancy between the portfolio of skills required by an occupation and the array of abilities possessed by the worker for learning those skills. Using data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) and the 1979 and 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79 and NLSY97), they report distinct gender differences in match quality and changes in match quality over the course of careers. They also show that a substantial portion of the gender wage gap stems from match quality differences among the college educated. College-educated females show a significantly greater likelihood of mismatch than do males. Moreover, individuals with children and those in more flexible occupations tend to experience a larger degree of mismatch. Cohort effects are also evident in the data: College-educated males of the younger cohort (NLSY97) are worse off in terms of match quality compared to the older cohort (NLSY79), even as the younger cohort of women is doing better on average.

Where Women Make a Difference: Gender Quotas and Firms’ Performance in Three European Countries
Simona Comi, Mara Grasseni, Federica Origo, and Laura Pagani

Abstract: The authors study the effect of corporate board gender quotas on firm performance in France, Italy, and Spain. The identification strategy exploits the exogenous variation in mandated gender quotas within country and over time and uses a counterfactual methodology. Using firm-level accounting data and a difference-in-difference estimator, the authors find that gender quotas had either a negative or an insignificant effect on firm performance in the countries considered with the exception of Italy, where they find a positive impact on productivity. The authors then focus on Italy. Using a novel data set containing detailed information on board members’ characteristics, they offer possible explanations for the positive effect of gender quotas. The results provide an important contribution to the policy debate about the optimal design of legislation on corporate gender quotas.

Book Reviews

Strong Governments, Precarious Workers: Labor Market Policy in the Era of Liberalization.
By Philip Rathgeb. Reviewed by Jens Arnholtz.

Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor.
By Steven Greenhouse. Reviewed by Ruth Milkman.

Living and Dying on the Factory Floor: From the Outside In and the Inside Out.
By David Ranney. Reviewed by Robert Bruno.

Book Review Symposium

Technological Encounters: How New Writing on Technology Can Inform Modern Labor Studies
Steve Viscelli and Beth Gutelius.

Books Reviewed:

·   Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. By Meredith Broussard.

·   Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor. By Virginia Eubanks.

·   Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass. By Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri.

·   Gigged: The End of the Job and the Future of Work. By Sarah Kessler.

·   Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy. By Alexandrea J. Ravenelle.

·   Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. By Cathy O’Neil.

Member Publication: Framing and Managing Lean Organizations in the New Economy

Please check out the recent publication by Darina Lepadatu and OOW member Thomas Janoski. 2020. Framing and Managing Lean Organizations in the New Economy. Routledge.

Here is a short description of the book:

This multidisciplinary book argues that lean production is now the dominant theory of the division of labor replacing “Fordism” and the vague term “post-Fordism.” The first part of the book examines the recognition of lean production in five disciplines from its strong focus in industrial engineering to a weaker recognition in sociology.

The second part discusses three varieties of lean production: Toyotism, Nikeification and Waltonism. As the strongest form at Toyota and Honda, “Toyotism” emphasizes both teamwork and just-in-time inventory. Other corporations emulate Toyotism—Ford, Nissan and McDonalds—but their efforts pale in comparison. A middling form of lean at Nike, Apple and Google is “Nikeification” based on offshoring that is teamwork at home and Fordism abroad. The least form is “Waltonism” that only uses a strong just-in-time inventory system, while Costco and Amazon use more teamwork.  As sociology has ignored lean production in the new millenium, this book gives it a full theoretical and organizational examination.

For further information and to purchase the book, visit Routledge’s website or Amazon.

Also look for Janoski and Lepadatu’s edited book, International Handbook of Lean Production, coming out later this year at Cambridge University Press.