Michelle Budig's research interests focus on gender, employment, labor markets, earnings, stratification, and family. Her research has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Social Problems, Gender & Society, and numerous other professional journals. Currently she is working on an NSF-funded project using multi-level models with cross-national data to estimate the effects of work-family reconciliation policies on the motherhood wage penalty. She is a past recipient of the World Bank/Luxembourg Income Study Gender Research Award and the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Research Excellence in Families and Work.
As a Family Research Scholar, Budig worked on two projects which investigated how work-family reconciliation policies affect women's family formation patterns across twenty-two countries. Governments have enacted many of these policies to slow or reverse fertility decline, but little research has directly examined the effects of policies, such as paid maternity leave, publicly subsidized day care, or leave targeted for fathers, on women's fertility. The second project investigated the growing differences in family formation patterns among social groups in the United States. This research suggests that socioeconomic opportunity and race shape the “opportunity costs” associated with childbearing.