MPC Member Elizabeth Wrigley-Field published new research on infectious diseases and racial inequality, along with co-authors James Feigenbaum and Chris Muller. In the first half of the twentieth century, the rate of death from infectious disease in the United States fell precipitously. Although this decline is well-known and well-documented, there is surprisingly little evidence about whether it took place uniformly across the regions of the U.S. We use data on infectious disease deaths from all reporting U.S. cities to describe regional patterns in the decline of urban infectious mortality from 1900 to 1948. We report three main results: First, urban infectious mortality was higher in the South in every year from 1900 to 1948. Second, the timing of the infectious mortality decline was different in southern cities than in cities in the other regions. Third, comparatively high infectious mortality in southern cities was driven overwhelmingly by extremely high infectious mortality among African Americans. From 1906 to 1920, African Americans in cities experienced a rate of death from infectious disease greater than what urban whites experienced during the 1918 flu pandemic.
January 2019: Negotiating Careers After Baby is Born
MPC Training Director Elect Ann Meier and MPC Director Rob Warren, in collaboration with Kelly Musick at Cornell University and Sheela Kennedy at Michigan, have received an NICHD grant to study “Trends in Couples’ Work Patterns after Childbirth.” Using four decades of data available through IPUMS CPS, they will link couples longitudinally across the full 16 months of their Current Population Survey participation to assess changes in husbands’ and wives’ work and earnings following a first birth. Their analysis will address long-term trends in how couples’ work and earnings change following the birth of their first child and the implications of these couple-level processes for changes in aggregate inequality over time. Their research will address critical gaps in the literature regarding how couples sort into marriage and how they negotiate roles within marriage.
MPC Member Carolyn Liebler, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, has received a new grant from the Russell Sage Foundation entitled “Racial Identities and Life Choices among Mixed-Heritage People in the USA.” This project seeks to understand intertwined aspects (e.g., racial identifications, spousal choices, and upbringing of children) of the lives of multiracial people from three distinct racial backgrounds using both qualitative interviews and quantitative analyses of census data. Together with collaborator Miri Song at the University of Kent, Liebler aims to answer three key questions: How do a person's race and ancestry responses link to their choice of spouse and the racial identification of their children? Does the answer to this question vary by location in the United States? And, does it vary across different mixed-heritage groups?
Their research will examine family-level effects of variation in the identities of mixed-heritage Black/White, Asian/White, and American Indian/White people. This research will contribute to a fuller and more nuanced understanding of the diversity of the mixed-heritage population in different parts of the US, and via in-depth interviews, variation in practices and decisions that mixed-heritage parents report in relation to their spouses and their children.
The Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation (ISRDI), the parent organization for MPC, received the University of Minnesota 2018 Outstanding Unit Award for Equity and Diversity for 2018. This award honors exemplary campuses, colleges, departments, or units that demonstrate leadership in equity and diversity work at the University of Minnesota. ISRDI was recognized for the MPC Summer Diversity Fellowship Program and for the Institutes commitment and efforts to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. The award citation noted the Institute's dedication to creating spaces that encourage and embrace inclusiveness, equal opportunity, and respect, with the overall goal of establishing an environment that is welcoming and nurturing for all.