The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Budig Receives $99,000 Grant

Michelle Budig, Professor and Chair of Sociology, was recently awarded a $99,000, three-year, grant by the US Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF). The grant, which will be co-investigated with Vered Kraus and Asaf Levanon of the University of Haifa in Israel, is titled "Do Israeli Mothers Pay a Penalty for Childbirth During Their Life Course." 
“Women generally experience a decline in their wages as they become mothers that researchers call the motherhood wage penalty. While information on personal characteristics underlying it is rapidly accumulating, evidence on contextual and institutional variation in the penalty lags behind. Specifically, studies broadening the scope to developing or non-western developed countries are scarce, with information on ethnic gaps in the motherhood penalty being especially limited,” explains Budig.
The team of researchers came together when the two Israeli scholars asked Budig about working together. She brings her experience researching the motherhood wage penalty in the US and over 22 other countries, while Kraus and Levanon study the effects of demographic factors like gender, ethnicity immigration, and inequality on economic outcomes in the labor market in Israel.  
“When Asaf and Vered approached me to collaborate on this project last year, I was excited to put our expertise together to unpack the motherhood wage penalty among ethnic and religious groups in Israel,” says Budig. “Whereas women's employment rate is generally high and the overall motherhood penalty is low in Israel, this pattern at the aggregate level likely masks important differences among ethnic and religious groups.”
Over the course of the study, Budig and her colleagues will cross examine data from the Israeli census spanning the years 1972-2008 with information from several other government agencies like the Ministry of the Interior, National Insurance Institute, Tax authority, and the Council for Higher Education.
“I was thrilled when we got the grant. I look forward to working with Israeli experts on this,” says Budig.
July 13, 2017