Martha J. Bailey
Professor of Economics, University of California-Los Angeles
Chapter Member: Los Angeles Unified SSN
Areas of Expertise:
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Bailey’s research focuses on issues in labor economics, demography, and health in the United States, within the long-run perspective of economic history. Her expertise is in gender and demographic issues and policies and programs begun in the United States in the 1960s.
In the News
Martha J. Bailey's research on , "The Trump Administration's Backward Attitude toward Birth Control," The New York Times, March 8, 2018.
Martha J. Bailey quoted on her research on the positive economic effects of contraception by Jillian Goodman, "Watch These People in 2018" Bloomberg Businessweek, December 1, 2017.
Martha J. Bailey quoted on access to birth control for women in their early 20's by Kate Hakala, "7 Amazing Things Birth Control Does That Have Nothing to Do with Sex" Mic, June 5, 2015.
Martha J. Bailey's research on the relationship between family income and graduation discussed by , "Gauging Income and College Prospects: How Our Readers Did," New York Times, June 2, 2015.
Martha J. Bailey quoted on labor economics and gender wage gaps by Allana Akhtar and Rachel Premack, "Evaluating the Gender Gap" Michigan Daily, February 17, 2015.
Guest to discuss the politics of poverty on NPR's Morning Edition, Martha J. Bailey, January 9, 2014.
Martha J. Bailey's research on the war on poverty discussed by , "The War on Poverty: Not Just a Liberal Campaign," PBS NewsHour, January 9, 2014.
Martha J. Bailey's research on Lyndon B. Johnson and the war on poverty discussed by , "LBJ’s Mistake Was Promising to “Win” the War on Poverty," The New Republic, January 8, 2014.
"Re-Learning the Lessons of the War on Poverty," Martha J. Bailey, Huffington Post, January 8, 2014.
Martha J. Bailey's research on the war on poverty discussed by , "The War on Poverty Turns 50: Three Lessons for Liberals Today," The New Republic, January 7, 2014.
Martha J. Bailey's research on changing poverty rates (with Sheldon Danziger) discussed by , "This Week in Poverty: New Data, Same Story (and Same Dangerous House Republicans)," The Nation, September 20, 2013.
Martha J. Bailey's research on the state-by-state impact of public spending on contraception discussed by , "Family Planning Programs Have Effectively Reduced Child Poverty," Big Think, May 22, 2012.
Martha J. Bailey's research on why access to the Pill translates to higher incomes discussed by , "Women Who Took the Pill Had a 8 Percent Higher Income by Age 50," Yahoo News, March 6, 2012.
Martha J. Bailey's research on the relationship between family planning and women’s income discussed by , "How Birth Control Boosts Women’s Salaries," The Washington Post, March 6, 2012.
Martha J. Bailey's research on the imbalance between rich and poor children in college completion discussed by , "Education Gap Grows between Rich and Poor, Studies Say," New York Times, February 9, 2012.
Martha J. Bailey's research on how the gaps in attainment by income and gender have grown over the past 70 years discussed by , "Income and Gender Gap in College Attainment Widens," Education Week, December 6, 2011.
Martha J. Bailey's research on on the striking and substantial difference between the sexes in educational attainment discussed by , "The ‘Boy Problem’ Examined," Inside Higher Ed, December 6, 2011.
Martha J. Bailey quoted on differences of graduation rates between the rich and the poor, "The Poor, the Near Poor, and You" New York Times, November 23, 2011.
Martha J. Bailey's research on on the importance of education in breaking poverty cycles discussed by , "College Graduation Rates: Income Really Matters," CNN Money, November 23, 2011.
Martha J. Bailey's research on how wage gaps affect educational outcomes, which leads to persistent inequality discussed by , "Middle-Class Areas Shrink as Income Gap Grows, New Report Finds," New York Times, November 15, 2011.
Martha J. Bailey's research on the impact of contraceptive freedom discussed by , "Sex and the Stimulus," New York Times, February 5, 2009.
"Reexamining the Impact of Family Planning Programs on U.S. Fertility: Evidence from the War on Poverty and the Early Year of Title X," National Bureau of Economic Research, August 1, 2011.
Reevaluates the short and long-term effects of U.S. family planning programs on U.S. fertility rates. Finds that the introduction of family planning is associated with significant and persistent reductions in fertility driven both by falling completed childbearing and childbearing delay. Implies that federally-funded family planning reduced childbearing among poor women by 21 to 29 percent.
"Fifty Years of U.S. Family Planning: Evidence on the Long-Run Effects of Increasing Access to Contraception," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 2013.
Examines how changes in policies restricting access to and subsidizing the Pill affected the next generation’s economic success.
"The War on Poverty’s Experiment in Public Medicine: The Impact of Community Health Centers on the Mortality of Older Americans," (with ), National Bureau of Economic Research, 2014.
Documents how the Community Health Center program reduced mortality rates among those 50 and older.
Legacies of the War on Poverty (edited with ) (Russell Sage Foundation, 2013).
Challenges the conventional wisdom that the War on Poverty was a failure by documenting many of its underappreciated successes.
"The Opt-In Revolution: Contraception, Fertility Timing and the Gender Gap in Wages" (with ). American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 4, no. 3 (2012): 225-254.
Documents how access to oral contraception for young adult women in the 1960s and 1970s led to long-run increases in their wages and a reduction in the gender gap in earnings.
"Inequality in Postsecondary Education" (with ), in Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children’s Life Chances, edited by G.J. Duncan and R.J. Murnane (Russell Sage, 2011), 117-132.
Finds that children from low income families increasingly lag behind children from more affluent households in terms of college entry and college graduation.