Research Areas research areas


  • Kristin Smith is a family demographer at the Carsey School of Public Policy and research associate professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. Smith’s research focus is on gender inequality, labor markets and employment, and work and family policy. She has researched labor force issues, including gender differences in job tenure and shifting determinants of women’s labor supply and the consequences of those shifts. In addition, Smith has studied occupational variation in earnings, job retention and job flexibility, principally focused on care workers and more recently on STEM workers. Smith also studies family policy, including paid family and medical leave, examining inequity in access and impacts on labor supply decisions. Smith’s expertise lies in examining trends in how work and family life interconnect, developing workforce policy recommendations, and applying a gender lens to her analysis. She has a broad background in demography and sociology, has extensive experience in survey design and implementation, and is proficient at quantitative data analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal data.

    Kristin studied French and Political Science as an undergraduate at the University of Vermont, and earned a Master in Public Health degree from Tulane University, and a PhD in Sociology at the University of Maryland.
  • Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2017 A Tale of Two Majors: Explaining the Gender Gap in STEM Employment among Computer Science and Engineering Degree HoldersSocial Sciences.  6:69-69. 2017
    2015 Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done about ItSocial Forces.  94:e29-e29. 2015
    2014 Husbands' job loss and wives' labor force participation during economic downturns: are all recessions the same?Monthly Labor Review2014
    2014 Unmasking the Conflicting Trends in Job Tenure by Gender in the United States, 1983-2008American Sociological Review.  79:159-181. 2014
    2013 Exploring the spatial wage penalty for women: Does it matter where you live?Social Science Research.  42:1390-1401. 2013
    2012 Labor mobility of the direct care workforce: implications for the provision of long-term care.Health Economics.  21:1402-1415. 2012
    2012 The Unfinished Revolution: How a New Generation is Reshaping Family, Work and Gender in AmericaCultural Sociology.  6:135-137. 2012
    2010 Changes in Wives' Employment When Husbands Stop Working: A Recession-Prosperity ComparisonFamily Relations.  59:343-357. 2010
    2010 The effect of Medicaid wage pass-through programs on the wages of direct care workers.Medical Care.  48:426-432. 2010
    2007 Caring for America’s Aging PopulationMonthly Labor Review.  130:20-25. 2007
    2006 An examination of full-time employment in the direct-care workforceJournal of Applied Gerontology.  25:356-374. 2006
    2004 Self-care: why do parents leave their children unsupervised?Demography.  41:285-301. 2004
    2002 Dispelling the myths - Self-care, class, and raceJournal of Family Issues.  23:716-727. 2002


    Year Title
    2017 Changing gender roles and rural poverty 2017
    2012 Rural Families in Transition.  239-253. 2012
    2011 CHANGING ROLES Women and Work in Rural America.  60-81. 2011

    Principal Investigator On

  • The Status of Women and Girls in New Hampshire  awarded by New Hampshire Women's Foundation 2017 - 2019
  • The Opt-Out Mechanism for Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance: Could it Work  awarded by Washington Center for Equitable Growth 2018 - 2019
  • Wages of Power and Wages of Care: A Source of Increasing Earnings Inequality?  awarded by Washington Center for Equitable Growth 2017 - 2019
  • Educational Outreach: Results from Research on Paid Family Leave & Breastfeeding  awarded by MomsRising 2018 - 2019
  • Review of Child Support Guidelines in NH  awarded by NH Department of Health & Human Services 2017 - 2019
  • Job Protection, Wage Replacement, and Paid Family Leave Take Up Among Lower Wage Workers  awarded by National Partnership for Women & Families 2019
  • Timing and Consistency of Noncustodial Parent Income and Care Contributions, Custodial Labor Supply, and the Wellbeing of Young Children  awarded by University of Wisconsin 2018 - 2019
  • Paid Family Leave and Breastfeeding: Does Length of Leave Improve Child Health?  awarded by MomsRising 2018
  • Instability Related to Parental Opioid Abuse Among New Hampshire Children  awarded by New Futures Inc 2017 - 2018
  • Washington Center for Economic Growth: Analysis of Earnings Inequality by Class of Worker (WCEG)  awarded by PERI Support Fund 2016 - 2017
  • Paid Family Leave Research  awarded by NH Department of Employment Security 2015 - 2016
  • Care Work, Nonpecuniary Benefits and Wages  awarded by Russell Sage Foundation 2014 - 2016
  • Care Work, Nonpecuniary Benefits and Wages  awarded by Russell Sage Foundation 2012 - 2014
  • Paid Sick Leave in Rural America  awarded by Ford Foundation 2010 - 2012
  • Care Workers Analysis, Including Adult and Child Care Workers  awarded by Russell Sage Foundation 2010
  • Paid Sick and Vacation Days, Work and Family Balance Among NH Workers Analysis  awarded by Public Welfare Foundation 2008 - 2009
  • Education And Training

  • B.A. French, University of Vermont
  • B.A. Political Science & Government, University of Vermont
  • M.P.H. Political Science & Government, Tulane University
  • Ph.D. Demography and Population, University of Maryland
  • Ph.D. Sociology, University of Maryland
  • Full Name

  • Kristin Smith