Labor Economics; Social Policy; Women and Work
Ph.D., Harvard University
M.A., Harvard University
B.A., University of Wisconsin
Following a brief post-B.A. period of a research appointment at the Social Security Administration in Washington, D.C., I became Research Assistant to Professor Sumner Slichter (1944-1948) and enrolled in graduate school in labor economics at Harvard. My subsequent career has combined teaching in academia with some research and administrative responsibilities. Major appointments included Wellesley College (1948-1958), Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (1966-1977), Wheaton College (1977-1992). After retiring from Wheaton, I taught at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management (1992-2002) and have been at the Women’s Studies Research Center since 2002. My work at the Center has focused on low- wage single-mother earners, and their work and family lives, and social policies to improve their economic well-being. My current project relates to work activities -- paid and unpaid -- engaged in by women after age 65.
Today’s working women increasingly envision a lifetime of paid work, often full-time, combined with family life with a partner and children. But current retirement-income calculations affecting wage-earning women are often inadequate to meet needs and expectations. My research-in-progress explains the importance of early retirement planning, integrates benefit expectations, and adapts work history to improve income adequacy at retirement.
Kahne, Hilda. “Low-Wage Single Mother Families in this Jobless Recovery: Can Improved Policies Help?” Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy 4.1 (2004).
Kahne, Hilda and Zachary Mabel, “Single Mothers and Other Low Earners: Policy Routes to Adequate Wages.” Poverty and Public Policy 2, Article 7 (September 2010).