The research of economist Nancy Folbre (FRS '07-'08) and sociologist Michelle Budig (FRS '06-'07) is featured in The Atlantic story "In Germany, Parents Can Sue the Government for Failing to Provide Child Care." Folbre and Budig comment on the lack of public support provided to American working mothers as opposed to their European counterparts--in this case, Germany.
Discussed is the "free rider" problem, a term coined by Folbre and her colleague, Paula England, a sociology professor at New York University, which describes the undue burden placed on mothers entering back into the workforce after having children. While these mothers face a seven perfect wage penalty for each child they have "...the benefits of mothers' childrearing spread widely across society (to employers, colleagues, neighbors, friends, spouses, their future children)..."
Read more about this disparity in The Atlantic HERE.