WMU News

Effects of economic public policy on families

Feb. 8, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- How the well being of families and children is affected by such public policies as the Family and Medical Leave Act will be discussed by an expert visiting Western Michigan University Wednesday, Feb. 21.

Dr. Katherin Ross Phillips, a research associate at the Income and Benefits Policy Center of the Urban Institute, will discuss "Working for Families? Unpaid Leave and the Family and Medical Leave Act" at 3 p.m. in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall. Her presentation is part of the Werner Sichel Lecture Seminar Series on "The Economics of Work and Family." The event is free and open to the public.

Ross Phillips, whose current work is with the Urban Institute's National Survey of America's Families, has published and presented widely on her research regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act, America's working poor, and public policy and working mothers. She has studied the relationship between public policy, work and the well being of families and children, as well as the changes in the work and domestic behaviors of low-income, primary caretakers in the wake of welfare reform.

Ross Phillips earned a doctoral degree in social science in 1999 from Syracuse University, where she received the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. She previously worked as a research associate with the Population Studies Center of the University of Pennsylvania and the Center for Policy Research and the Luxembourg Income Study at Syracuse University.

Ross Phillips is the fifth 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 and final speaker scheduled for the series is Dr. Joyce P. Jacobsen, professor of economics at Wesleyan University. She will address "How Family Structure Affects Labor Market Outcomes" at 3 p.m., Wednesday, March 21, in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall.

For more information, contact Hoffman at (616) 387-5546 or <emily.hoffman@wmich.edu>, or Kimmel at (616) 385-0435 or <kimmel@we.upjohninst.org>.

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

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