Request for Articles - The Changing Roles and Status of Women and Effects on Society and the Economy

This request for articles is now closed.




Edited by

Martha Bailey
University of Michigan


Thomas DiPrete
Columbia University

The remarkable gains in educational achievement and advances in the economic and social standing of women have been distinguishing features of the 20th and early 21st centuries. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences invites paper submissions for its upcoming special issue on the changing roles and status of women and the effects on society and the economy. The special issue will consider both the determinants of these important economic and social changes as well as their consequences. These papers will be organized into three sections. The first section will examine changes in women’s labor market outcomes including education, experience, occupations, and pay. The second section will address family and intimate relationships. The third section will address issues in politics, law, and culture.

Economic Equality and Labor Market Outcomes
One section of the special issue will be devoted to women’s economic equality and financial independence as well as their labor market outcomes. We will consider submissions on the role of labor market and educational policies in promoting or holding back change; changes in wage inequality between women and men; gender segregation of occupations and industries (including STEM fields) and changes in women’s share of top positions in for-profit and non-profit organizations; the labor supply of women and men; gender differences in education and labor market experience; the possible reasons for unexplained wage and differentials including, among others, labor market discrimination and preferences for family; and the gender gap in poverty.

Intimate and Family Relationships, Bargaining Power and Implications for Children
Another section of the special issue will consider changes in family structure that have transformed the economic and social functions of marriage and the living circumstances of children. We will consider submissions evaluating changes in marriage, cohabitation, and divorce rates over time. We will also consider submissions on changes in assortative matching, including changes in valuations of different traits by prospective mates over time. Finally, we will consider submissions on changes in childbearing and childlessness, changes in the amount of time women spend in domestic labor and child care, in the division of labor between women and men in these tasks, and in the motherhood penalty in wages and career attainment.

Political, Legal, and Cultural Change
The third section of the special issue will consider changes in the political, legal, and cultural status of women. We will consider submissions on the changing influence of women on politics (and consequences for law and social policy), changes in the electoral power of women (including the gender gap in voting), and changes in women’s representation in legislatures and positions of power. Submissions might consider these longer-run changes or changes in women’s political views on public policy questions, including many typically described as women’s issues; changes in the ways that gender is included (or excluded from special consideration) in law and social policy; and issues of sexual violence, intimidation, harassment, and interpersonal equality or the extent to which the risk and perception of interpersonal intimidation is declining (or increasing) as a consequence of women’s changing social and economic status and in society. Finally, submissions might also consider changes in perceptions of gender identity (and related issues such as feminism and gender essentialism) that might develop as a consequence of women’s changing status.

Anticipated Timeline

Prospective contributors should submit a CV and an abstract of their study (no more than two pages in length) along with up to two pages of supporting material (e.g., tables, figures, etc.) no later than 5 PM EST on August 7, 2014, to:

All submissions must be original work that has not been previously published in part or in full. Only abstracts submitted to will be considered. Each paper will receive a $1,000 honorarium when the issue is published. The journal issue is being edited by Martha Bailey (Department of Economics, University of Michigan) and Thomas A. DiPrete (Department of Sociology, Columbia University), but all questions should be directed to Suzanne Nichols, Director of Publications, at and not to the email addresses of the editors of the special issue.

Selected papers will receive notification by mid- September 2014. A meeting of the authors of invited papers will be held on January 9, 2015 at the RSF headquarters in New York City. Authors are expected to provide extended abstracts of their papers (and as much in the way of preliminary research findings as is practical) to the editors for circulation and discussion prior to the January meeting. Travel costs, food, and lodging will be covered by the foundation for one author per selected paper. Each paper will be presented by one of the volume contributors who will provide comments and lead discussion of the paper. The meeting will focus on the identification of common themes among the papers and suggestions for development of the extended abstracts into full papers.

A draft of the full papers will be due in the late spring of 2015. A conference will be organized in the early summer of 2015. The contributors will gather for a one-day workshop to present preliminary findings and receive feedback from the other contributors. Travel costs, food, and lodging will be covered by the foundation for one author per selected paper. Papers will be circulated before the conference. Contributors will be asked to read each paper and come to the workshop ready to provide feedback. The goal of the conference will be to further improve the papers and to sharpen broader themes that emerge from the group of papers that are relevant for academic researchers and for policymakers.

Submission of a revised draft for peer review by experts in the field the paper addresses will be due on September 30, 2015. Papers should be no longer than 35 pages, including references, tables and figures. They should be double-spaced with 1-inch margins and printed in Times New Roman font. Tables and figures are included in the page count as are notes and references, which can be set single-spaced.

Because the volumes are intended to influence scholarly, policy, and public thinking, they will be vigorously publicized by the Russell Sage Foundation. Papers will be published open access on the foundation’s website as well as in several digital repositories, including JSTOR and UPCC/Project Muse.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


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