Research Areas

Labor Economics; Social Policy; Women and Work


Ph.D., Harvard University

M.A., Harvard University

B.A., University of Wisconsin

Hilda Kahne

Hilda Kahne

Hilda Kahne

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.

Current Projects

The research, to be written with a sociologist co-author, is tentatively titled Adequacy of Retirement Income for Blue Collar Wage-Earning
Women. It will describe the distinctive rhythms of women’s paid work since 1950, their changing family structures and roles and their consequences for women’s social security retirement income.

Representative Publications

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).