The Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy is located at Martha Van Rensselaer Hall on the Cornell University campus.

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Brooks School work-family expert receives prestigious award

Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy professor Kelly Musick has received an international distinction as a result of her research into parental earnings.

Musick was selected as one of a small group of nominees for the 2021 Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research. The Kanter Award shines a spotlight on high-quality work-family research and raises awareness among the scholar, consultant and practitioner communities. 

The award committee of 60 leading scholars announced the honorees after examining over 2,500 articles published in 83 top tier journals from around the world.

Musick was honored for her article “His and her earnings following parenthood in the United States, Germany and United Kingdom,” published by American Sociological Review. Her co-authors and fellow nominees included Cornell graduate Megan Doherty-Bea (University of Wisconsin – Madison) and Pilar Gonalons-Pons (University of Pennsylvania).

Kelly Musick

Their research traced wives’ share of total couple earnings in a 10-year window around the birth of their first child. Musick and her co-authors found steep declines in wives’ earnings share in all three countries but mothers in the U.S. had the smallest drop-off. That’s the result of higher employment and work hours among new mothers in the U.S., where public support for families plays a much smaller role in buffering the financial and time strains associated with parenthood. The researchers say their findings demonstrate how parenthood plays into gender inequality within couples and how country context shapes couple dynamics and inequality across households.

“It is wonderful to see one of our leading scholars in family life and social equality policy honored in this way,” said Brooks School inaugural dean Colleen Barry. “Kelly Musick’s research influences policymakers and improves lives. Her colleagues at the Brooks School and Cornell University are enormously proud of her.”

Musick is associate dean of research and a professor at the Brooks School. Her research has been funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Swedish Research Council.

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