About Me

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 am currently 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 ReviewDemography, Socio-Economic Review, Social Science ResearchSocial ProblemsDemographic Research, and the RSF: Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences.


November 2021, named Alber-Klingelhofer Presidential Assistant Professor of Sociology.

July 2021, project Measuring Care Provision in the United States (co-PI with Nancy Folbre and Shawn Fremstad) is awarded Hewlett Foundation Research Grant.

June 2021, new publications: Marriage and Masculinity: Male-Breadwinner Culture, Unemployment, and Separation Risks in 29 Countries (with M. Gangl), and Changes in Couples’ Earnings Following Parenthood and Trends in Family Earnings Inequality (with C. Schwartz and K. Musick)

May 2021, project The Care Work System. A Care Work Policy Database (PI) is awarded internal grant from the Trustee’s Council of Penn Women.

January 2021, new publications: Exit, voice and loyalty in the family: findings from a basic income experiment (with D. Calnitsky), and Regulated earnings security: the relationship between employment protection and unemployment scarring over the Great Recession (with M. Gangl).

May 2020, Op-ed for the Inquirer “Women already do most domestic work. The Coronavirus makes that gap worse

January 2020, awarded Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Scholar residency in NYC.

May 2019, Op-ed for the Gender Policy Report “Childcare for the 99%

March 2019, Book review for Contexts with Shelly Ronen “Sexist Cheap Shots

January 2019, nominated for the Rosabeth Kanter Award for Excellent Scholarship in Work and Family

November 2018, host and organizer for the conference “After the Care Crisis

Oct 2018, Invited talk at Princeton OPR Seminar Series “Reproductive labor and the structure of inequality


E-mail: pgonalon@sas.upenn.edu