Pilar Gonalons-Pons, Ph.D.

Pilar Gonalons-Pons

Assistant Professor of Sociology


McNeil 217


Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015
M.A., International Migration, University of Deutso, 2008
B.A., Sociology, University of Barcelona, 2006

Research Interests

I am the Alber-Klingelfhofer Presidential Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, with affiliations to the Population Studies CenterGender and Sexuality Studies, and the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics. I have been a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation (2021-2022). I received a PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and I was a postdoc at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

My research examines how gender, work, families, and public policies structure economic inequalities, with a particular focus on how inequalities change over time and over the life course. In my empirical work I typically use quantitative techniques and longitudinal datasets from multiple countries, but I have also used documents and interview data.

Much of my research is guided by the overall goal to develop a comprehensive understanding about the political economy of care and reproductive paid and unpaid work and its contribution to economic inequalities. I also have interests in understanding how and when change in gender culture occurs and how it shapes family dynamics.

In recent projects I show that changes in the division of paid and unpaid work play a key role in shaping economic inequalities within and between families (Gonalons-Pons et al. 2021Musick et al. 2020); that gender culture is key to understanding the relationship between unemployment and divorce (Gonalons-Pons & Gangl 2021); that a basic income policy has potential to transform the economic foundations of romantic relationships (Gonalons-Pons & Calnitsky 2021) as well as patterns of crime including domestic violence (Calnitsky & Gonalons-Pons, 2020); and that employment labor protection policies successfully mitigate earnings losses associated with unemployment both in periods of recession and economic growth (Gonalons-Pons & Gangl 2021).

My research has appeared in American Sociological ReviewDemographySocio-Economic ReviewSocial Science ResearchSocial ProblemsDemographic Research, and the RSF: Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences.

Courses Taught

I have taught courses on Family Sociology and Introduction to Social Statistics. I also lead graduate-level reading groups on Feminist Sociology and on Race, Gender and Capitalism (the latter co-led with Daniel A. Cohen)


Selected Publications

Gonalons-Pons, P. 2022. “Differentiated Egalitarianism: The Impact of Paid Family Leave Policy on Women’s and Men’s Paid and Unpaid Work.” Social Forces.

Mertehikian, Y. and P. Gonalons-Pons. 2022. “Work and Family Disadvantage: Mechanisms of Gender Gaps in Paid Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Socius.

Musick, K., P. Gonalons-Pons, C. R. Schwartz. 2022. “Change and Variation in Couples’ Earnings Equality Following Parenthood.” Population and Development Review

Gonalons-Pons, P. 2021. “Servants of Production. The Politics of Domestic Workers’ Labor Rights.” Social Politics

Gonalons-Pons, P. and M. Gangl. 2021. “Marriage and Masculinity: Male-Breadwinner Culture, Unemployment, and Separation Risk in 29 Countries.” American Sociological Review

Gonalons-Pons, P., K. Musick, C. R. Schwartz. 2021. “Changes in Couples’ Earnings Following Parenthood and Trends in Family Earnings Inequality.” Demography

Gonalons-Pons, P. and D. Calnitsky. 2021. “Exit, Voice, and Loyalty in the Family: The Impact of a Basic Income on Familial and Gender Relations.” Socio-Economic Review

Gonalons-Pons, P. and M. Gangl. 2021. “Regulated Earnings Security: The Relationship between Employment Protection and Unemployment Scarring during the Great Recession.” Socio-Economic Review

Behrman, J. and P. Gonalons-Pons. 2020. “Global Fertility and Women’s Employment” (equal authorship, authors in alphabetical order). Demographic Research

Musick, K., M., D. Bea, P. Gonalons-Pons. 2020. “His and Her Earnings Following Parenthood in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.” American Sociological Review

  • Featured in the Society Pages, Council for Contemporary Families

Calnitsky, D. and P. Gonalons-Pons. 2020. “The Impact of an Experimental Guaranteed Income on Crime and Violence.” Social Problems

Gonalons-Pons, P. and C. R. Schwartz. 2017. “Trends in Economic Homogamy: Changes in Assortative Mating or the Division of Paid Labor in Marriage?” Demography 54(3): 985-1005.

  • nominee of the 2018 Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research and featured in the Working Progress

Schwartz, C. R. and P. Gonalons-Pons. 2016. “Trends in Relative Earnings and Marital Dissolution: Are Wives Who Outearn Their Husbands Still More Likely to Divorce?” RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 2(4): 218-236.

Torosyan, K., T. Gerber, P. Gonalons-Pons. 2016. “Migration, Household Tasks, and Gender Relations in Georgia.” International Migration Review 50(2): 445-474.

Gonalons-Pons, P. 2015. “Gender and Class Housework Inequalities in the Era of Outsourcing.” Social Science Research 52: 208-218.

CV (file)
CV-083022.pdf219.56 KB