The Hub’s research will explore the health effects of paid leave policies, minimum wage laws, state and federal tax benefits, and more

Contact: Jennifer Clark,, 202-785-5100

Washington, DC—Today, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and the University of California, Berkeley, announce the launch of a new Policies for Action Research Hub that will investigate how income and workplace policies can help parents protect and invest in the health and well-being of their families.

Heidi Hartmann, labor economist and president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, and William H. Dow, health economist and Interim Dean and the Kaiser Permanente Professor of Health Policy and Management at the UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, will co-direct the Hub.

The Hub is part of Policies for Action (P4A), a signature research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) administered through the National Coordinating Center at the Urban Institute. P4A’s research investigates public and private policies to explore the root causes of health disparities in America, and identify potential solutions to improve health, well-being, and equity.

Co-director Heidi Hartmann commented on the launch of the new research hub:

“IWPR has been working on many of these issues for 30 years and we are very excited to look more closely at the health effects of policies like paid leave, minimum wage, and taxes through this new research hub with UC Berkeley and their Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. The intersecting issues around caregiving and care work will be the great policy challenge facing us over the next few decades. This type of research is urgently needed now, because the United States has cut back on social supports for working families and has not kept up with other countries around the world. This project allows us to get into depth on these issues, and produce actionable, reliable information that we hope all policymakers are looking for and will listen to.”

Co-director William Dow also commented on the launch of the hub with IWPR:

“With this new hub, we will be able to take advantage of the fact that we have such active experimentation at the state and local level on many of these issues. We want to cross-fertilize ideas that are working—across states, municipalities, and employers—to build understanding around what might be win-wins for healthy workers and thriving economies. As momentum trickles up from the states to the federal policy level, we will then have a broader body of research to inform better nationwide policies.”

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences. IWPR also works in affiliation with the Program on Gender Analysis in Economics at American University.