Monthly Archives

February 2022

Research Findings

Enabling Uber’s Disruption

February 24, 2022

Over the past 25 years, much has been written about the role of disruptive innovations in the contemporary economy. Indeed, a great deal of attention has been paid to how nascent technological platforms, like Google, Amazon, Uber and Airbnb, have been disrupting existing industries.

Most of this research has focused on the market strategies that contribute to the success of disruptive firms. However, scholars have increasingly begun to highlight the important role that non-market and corporate political strategies  play in producing market disruption. Indeed, a growing body of research suggests that, to disrupt markets, start-ups must often pursue strategies to change existing laws and regulations, which scholars have referred to as regulatory entrepreneurship.

While informative, the research on regulatory entrepreneurship has mostly centered the corporate political strategies and tactics of the disruptive firms that seek to influence their political environments, leaving the work of regulators and lawmakers to manage that disruption relatively under-explored.

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Research Findings

The New Economy as Multi-Level Marketing Scheme: Career Coaches and Unemployment in the Age of Insecurity

February 17, 2022

The forty unemployed professionals who made it to this meeting at Jump Start Job Club are prepared to chant. Arranged in folding chairs with Styrofoam cups in hand, their eyes are fixed on their lines, projected on a PowerPoint slide: “I’m not over-qualified, I’m absolutely qualified!”

The bubbly presenter orchestrates: “Let’s say it all together!”

The crowd looks like a twenty-year reunion of the characters in the movie Office Space: not its scheming anti-work hero, but the background cast, the characters who decided to stick with the company until the layoffs came around.

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Research Findings

Mothers are the primary earners in growing numbers of families with children

February 10, 2022

About 70% of U.S. moms can expect to be primary financial providers before their first child turns 18.

In a substantial number of families with children, mothers, whether single or partnered, are now the primary breadwinner. More than 40 percent of American mothers solely or primarily support their minor children through their own earnings in any given year.

For most of the 20th century, except in wartime, says historian Stephanie Coontz, women who were the primary source of their children’s income were generally unmarried, divorced, or widowed. But for the past two decades, the most rapid growth in breadwinning mothers has been among partnered women. As late as 2000, only 15 percent of primary-earning mothers were married. But by 2017, married women accounted for almost 40 percent of mothers whose earnings were the primary support for their families, based on the 1990-2000 Censuses and 2010-2017 American Community Surveys.

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Research Findings

How do occupations conceal job variation and gender segregation?

February 3, 2022

Gender segregation – the tendency of men and women to work in different kinds of jobs – is an enduring problem in the United States. Because jobs dominated by women tend to be paid less than those dominated by men, segregation contributes to gender inequality. Despite progress over time, the rate of desegregation has slowed in recent decades, and segregation remains a major contributor to the gender pay gap.

However, gender segregation may be worse than we thought. It turns out that the way we typically measure segregation – using occupations – conceals gender segregation based on job titles. Therefore, we know very little about how men and women might be segregated into different job titles within occupations, especially over time and at the national level.

My recent article in the American Sociological Review shows that occupations hide significant levels of gender segregation and that job title desegregation may be slowing relative to occupational desegregation.

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