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Rachel Margolis: The Effects of Gender Equality-Focused Parental Benefits on Union Stability

January 24, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Rachel Margolis

On January 24, 2020, Rachel Margolis will present “The Effects of Gender Equality-Focused Parental Benefits on Union Stability” as part of the Carolina Population Center’s 2019-2020 Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series.

Rachel Margolis is an associate professor in the sociology department at the University of Western Ontario, where she has worked since her PhD in Demography and Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.  Her research addresses population aging, changes in family networks, population health, and social policy.

Presentation Abstract:

This paper examines how a policy aimed to promote gender equality at home and in the workplace unintentionally made unions more stable. Paid parental benefits policies were originally designed to increase women’s return to work after childbirth. However, more recent extensions of these policies aim to promote more equal care and paid work for parents. This is a great example of a social policy which was first used to encourage the first phase of the gender revolution, the movement of women into the paid labor force, and then have been adapted to promote the second phase of this revolution, the movement of men into care work and housework. Even though these policies have no explicit aims regarding relationship stability, these policies have the potential to shift union stability because the newly unequal division of labor is a source of stress and common cause of union dissolution for parents. Using administrative data from Canada, this paper contributes to a broad literature in sociology about whether and how family policies can shape unions and family structure.

We record as many videos as possible. You can see previous events here.

Instructors: To arrange for class attendance, contact CPC ( by the Monday before the seminar.

The Carolina Population Center hosts a weekly Friday lecture on a topic that enhances our understanding of population-related changes. The 2019-2020 Interdisciplinary Research Seminars will feature talks related to aging trajectories, health behavior, the Zika virus, and the beverage tax – among other topics.

All seminars are held from 12:00 – 1:00 pm in Carolina Square Room 2002 at 123 W. Franklin St. unless otherwise indicated.


January 24, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Carolina Population Center


Carolina Square Room 2002
123 W. Franklin St
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States
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(919) 962-5907