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 an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and a research associate at the Population Studies Center. I will be a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation 2021-2022. Prior to that, 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

Musick, K., P. Gonalons-Pons, C. R. Schwartz. Forthcoming. “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)