Because there are many interesting things to learn and many interesting people to work with.

Motherhood Wage Penalties in Latin America: The Significance of Labor Informality

(with Aida Villanueva)

Previous research has established the presence of a motherhood wage penalty in many industrialized societies; however, whether mothers face similar disadvantages in developing countries remains underexplored. This article argues that different intervening factors emerge when considering mothers’ labor compensation in developing contexts. Labor informality, a key characteristic of labor markets in developing countries, could play a significant role in shaping the wage consequence of motherhood. Using microdata from 43 national household surveys conducted between 2000 and 2017, we analyze five Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru. After accounting for selection into employment and human capital, we find that mothers receive lower wages than childless women in all five countries. The penalties are similar to those found in some industrialized countries, ranging from 12 percent in Brazil to 21 percent in Chile. Mothers’ higher likelihood to work in the informal sector accounts for part of the wage gap.

Concealed Handgun License: Trends and Patterns

(with Harel Shapria and Katie Jensen)

Recent waves of legislation have made it much easier for gun owners to obtain a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) and thereby carry their guns in public except when explicitly prohibited. Because data are difficult to access, our understanding of who seeks and obtains such licenses remains limited. Utilizing data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, this paper fills this empirical gap by describing demographic trends and characteristics of applicants for CHLs in five states: Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Texas, and Utah. The results establish that (1) applications for CHLs are growing at fast rates; (2) there are significant gender and racial disparities in terms of who applies for CHLs, with men 2.9 to 5.5 times more likely to apply than women and whites 1.3 to 2.0 times more likely to apply than blacks; (3) in Florida and Utah, these demographic gaps have widened over time; and (4) there are significant racial disparities in terms of application outcomes, with black applicants being 3.3 to 5.5 times more likely to be denied a license than white applicants. Moreover, we do not find the patterns in Massachusetts, a may-issue state, to be significantly different from the shall-issue states in our sample.

Revisiting the Gap between Stylized and Diary Estimates of Market Work Time

Previous studies find that workers of longer work weeks report more market hours in stylized measure than in time diary, while those of shorter work weeks report fewer hours. Using data from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) 2003-2007, this paper attempts to explain this dilemma. I argue that market work time is composed of activity time, committed time, and constrained time. Thus, part of the difference found between the two estimates is due to the calculation of the diary estimate. I also argue that the wording of the stylized question is consequential. Some stylized questions (e.g., How many hours per week do you usually work?) might capture the mode, instead of the mean, of work time. Thus, when the distribution of work time is skewed, the mismatch between the two estimates is expected. A sequence-based identification for diary estimate and a nonparametric adjustment for stylized estimate are proposed and empirically examined. The result indicates that both methods significantly reduce the observed gap between the two estimates. I discuss the implications for future time use survey design in the concluding section.

How Attitudes about Guns Develop over Time

(with Harel Shapira and Chen Liang)

Existing scholarship usually presents people’s attitudes about guns as fixed and fully formed. Rarely are such attitudes examined as the outcome of social processes. As a result, while we know a great deal about what people think about guns, we know very little about the development of these beliefs. In this paper, we use a combination of surveys and life history interviews with a national sample of college students between the ages of 18 and 24 to examine how attitudes about guns develop in childhood and young adulthood. We find that while family gun ownership matters, positive attitudes about guns develop through active socialization that continues beyond childhood and is not reducible to family background. Relationships play a key role in this process, with changes in relationships often driving changes in attitudes about guns. Changes in attitudes about guns can take place in terms of both the content (what young adults think about guns) and the form (how young adults think about guns). In the transition to young adulthood, attitudes about guns develop from being articulated primarily as personal experiences connected to the activity of shooting guns or experiencing gun violence, to being articulated as political beliefs, connected to issues of regulation. These findings contribute to our understanding of gun attitudes by offering insights on not only what people think about guns but also how people come to think about guns in the ways that they do.

Sociological Perspectives, online