Christine Percheski

Associate Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University
Chapter Leader: Chicagoland SSN
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About Christine

Percheski’s research is focused on family demography, economic inequality, and health policy. Her research is particularly concerned with understanding the wellbeing of American women and families with children. Percheski's past work has investigated the rise in income and wealth inequality among U.S. households, how the employment patterns of new mothers vary by their marital and partner status, how the Great Recession affected pregnancy rates, and how health insurance coverage varies by family characteristics.


What Women Will Lose if the Ryan Budget Becomes Law

    Ann Orloff ,

Fathers' Work and Child Wellbeing

  • Christopher Wildeman

In the News

Opinion: "Illinois Should Follow New York's Example on Paid Family Leave," Christine Percheski, Crain's Chicago Business News, January 12, 2018.
Quoted by in "Man Winning Most Married Moms Poised for White House," Bloomberg News, June 25, 2012.
Interviewed in "Marriage Stable despite Sense of Shifting Values," Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ), July 20, 2011.


"Public Health Insurance and Health Care Utilization for Children in Immigrant Families" (with Sharon Bzostek). Maternal & Child Health Journal 21, no. 12 (2017): 2153-2160.

Proposes that children in immigrant families would likely benefit considerably from expansions of public health insurance eligibility to cover all children, including children without citizenship. 

"Deciding to Wait: Partnership Status, Economic Conditions, and Pregnancy During the Great Recession" (with Rachel Tolbert Kimbro). Sociological Science (2017).

Focuses on variations in pregnancy and infertility by partnership and marital status. Finds that worse economic conditions were predictive of a lower risk of unplanned pregnancy.

"Marriage, Family Structure, and Maternal Employment Trajectories" Social Forces (2018).

Examines how maternal employment varies across family structures (married parents, cohabiting unmarried parents, and lone unmarried mothers) in the five years after a birth for mothers living in urban areas in the United States. Finds that cohabiting mothers return to work earlier and work more than married mothers and that cohabiting mothers and lone mothers show very similar unemployment patterns. Speculates that cohabiting mothers work more than married mothers as a hedge against economic deprivation given high union dissolution rates for cohabiting couples.

"Children Living with Uninsured Family Members: Differences by Family Structure" (with Shorn Bzostek). Journal of Marriage and Family 78, no. 5 (2016): 1208-1223.

Investigates family structure differences in family-level insurance coverage of households with children.