Marta Murray-Close

Marta Murray-Close’s research focuses on the diversity of modern family arrangements with a special interest in the economics of gender and sexual orientation and the economics of nontraditional families. She explores the implications of work-family trade-offs for the personal and professional lives of men and women where heterosexual married couples head a shrinking proportion of all families, and where, even among heterosexual married couples, dual-earner couples are the new norm. “Social policies and programs have been slow to respond to these changes,” says Murray-Close, but she hopes “that research that improves our understanding of modern families can help us design better policies to support them.”

Murray-Close’s current research involves the challenges that highly educated, dual-career couples face when looking for two jobs in the same location. She is especially interested in the decision some couples make to live apart and wonders if maintaining separate residences is a long-term solution or simply a Band-Aid. She plans on seeking funding to complete a data collection in a longitudinal survey examining the prevalence, predictors, and consequences of living apart among early-career economists.

On her ISSR experience:  “ISSR has provided me with resources—both time and peer mentoring—that will significantly strengthen the grant I am writing now and the numerous grants I will undoubtedly write in the future, The workshop has also introduced me to faculty in other departments and has helped orient me to the resources that support research on campus. I’m sure that facilitating these kinds of connections across units and departments will be a key contribution of ISSR to the university.” Murray-Close has been impressed with the excellent resources on campus for demographic and family researchers. ISSR and the Center for Research on Families stand out as examples, as do several specific faculty members in departments beyond economics. “It’s exciting to be surrounded by people who are doing top-notch work in the things about which I’m most passionate.”

Recent Publications:

  • Deborah Levison and Marta Murray-Close. 2005. “Challenges in Determining How Child Work Affects Child Health.” Public Health Reports 120(6): 614-21.

Keywords: child labor, health, research bias, experimental groups