WMU News

Economics of fertility explored by visiting expert

Jan. 4, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- The effect that fertility and children have on the female labor supply will be explored in a presentation by a expert visiting Western Michigan University Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Dr. Susan L. Averitt, associate professor of economics and business at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., will discuss "The Economics of Fertility" at 3 p.m. in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall. Her presentation is part of the ongoing Werner Sichel Lecture Seminar Series on "The Economics of Work and Family" and is free and open to the public.

Averitt's research interests cover a broad range of topics relating to fertility, childcare and the female labor supply. Among articles she has recently published are some that explore whether maternity leaves promote having children, an examination of whether or not women choose children over career after giving birth, and the effect of paternal childcare on children's development.

Averitt received a doctoral degree in economics from the University of Colorado in 1991. That year, she received the Michael E. Borus Dissertation Award from Ohio State University and the Center for Human Resources Research for outstanding dissertation work using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth database.

Averitt is the fourth speaker in this year's Werner Sichel Economics Lecture-Seminar Series. The annual series, now in its 37th year, is named for Dr. Werner Sichel, chairperson of the Department of Economics, who started the series and has served WMU for 40 years.

The Department of Economics and the College of Arts and Sciences co-sponsor the series with the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Co-directing the series are Dr. Emily P. Hoffman, WMU professor of economics, and Dr. Jean Kimmel, senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

The next speaker scheduled for the series is Dr. Katherin Ross Phillips, a research associate in the Income and Benefits Policy Center of the Urban Institute. She will address "Working for Families? Unpaid Leave and the Family and Medical Leave Act" at 3 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 21, in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall.

For more information, persons should contact Hoffman by phone at (616) 387-5546 or by email to <emily.hoffman@wmich.edu>; or Kimmel by phone at (616) 385-0435 or by email to <kimmel@we.upjohninst.org>; or call the WMU Department of Economics at (616) 387-5535.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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