MORE TO EXPLORE: Inequality, Race, and Poverty

The Role of Unpaid Care Work in the Socioeconomic Gender Gap

Client
Gender Gap Analysis
Faculty
Aram Hur
Team
Weikun Dang, Kyung-duk Park, Diana Rañola
Despite a surge in international policy efforts to empower women economically, the socioeconomic gender gap persists. While most studies debate the effectiveness of formal policies, a Capstone team explored an informal barrier: unpaid care work—the care of people without remuneration—which women on average spend substantially more time doing than men. The team hypothesized that the gender disparity in allocating care responsibilities undermines women’s economic status by decreasing the effectiveness of formal policies. The team combined a cross-national analysis of over 100 country observations with a within-country, individual-level analyses. Their research revealed that unpaid care work not only directly affects economic outcomes for women, but also indirectly impedes the formal policies that are in place to help women because unpaid care is often not addressed in these policies. Their findings suggest that narrowing the gender gap requires formal policies that consider the hidden cost of unpaid gendered work.
Capstone Year

Analysis of Public Support Program Efficacy in Supporting the Disabled

Client
The Effect of Public Support Programs on Income Volatility
Faculty
Aram Hur
Team
Rebecca Augustin, Nichole Huff, Jaimie Vernon
Income volatility—substantial variation in household income—impacts roughly a quarter of American families and disproportionately harms the disabled because they are more likely to have low income. A Capstone team undertook a research plan to assess whether existing public support programs are effectively improving income stability. Departing from current studies that fail to differentiate between specific sources of financial vulnerability the team examined how disability status and type affect program effectiveness. The scope of the team’s research included the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a program designed to help needy families become self-sufficient. The team analyzed data from the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation and found significant differences in TANF effectiveness for the disabled, with important variations across disability types. These findings imply that support programs need to allocate funding according to the degree of vulnerability to effectively address income volatility.
Capstone Year

The Interplay Between Low-Income Housing and Air Pollution in Urban india

Client
World Bank
Faculty
Natasha Iskander
Team
Sasha Massey, Whitley Richards, Melissa Serrano, Jingyi Wu
The World Bank, an international financial institution, aims to end extreme poverty and foster income growth by providing financial assistance and support to various countries. The World Bank’s New Delhi office engaged a Capstone team to investigate the relationship between air pollution and affordable housing construction in India. Air pollution in India’s urban areas has reached emergency levels with thick fog reducing visibility and posing adverse health effects. The team focused on analyzing the construction methodologies used for low-income housing and the correlation between the construction of affordable housing and air pollution. The team evaluated existing research to uncover relevant stakeholders, standard affordable housing approaches, best practices from other countries, and steps that can minimize future air pollution caused by construction. The team provided World Bank with a report detailing an innovative and eco-friendly brick development methodology and policy recommendations to promote affordable housing approaches that will minimize carbon dioxide emissions.
Capstone Year