Montez examines the large and growing inequalities in adult mortality across education levels and geographic areas within the United States. She is particularly interested in why these growing inequalities have been most pronounced among women. Her recent work focuses on how U.S. state policies, deregulation, and the gradual transfer of power from federal to state levels since the 1970s have contributed to the growing inequalities.
Systematically examines the large inequalities in women's mortality between U.S. states using a multilevel approach, focusing on “fundamental” social determinants of mortality at the individual and state levels as potential explanations.
Documents that the growing gap in mortality between lower-educated and higher-educated women is in large part due to unfavorable trends in employment and smoking among lower-educated women.
Establishes that childhood socioeconomic conditions have long-term effects on physical functioning in later life, but that an individual’s own education level matters more.
Presents evidence that U.S. women have shorter lives than Finnish women in large part because the paltry supports for working parents in the U.S. prevent many women, especially low-educated women, from engaging in paid employment.
Shows that states with stronger economic output, more income equality, and long histories of state supplemental Earned Income Tax Credit have much lower disability.
Shows the gap in the probability of having a disability between adults without a high school credential and college graduates is much larger in certain states partly because low-educated adults are more often poor and living in poor communities in those states.