Rachel Connelly

Bion R. Cram Professor of Economics, Chair of Department of Economics

On leave for 2018-19 academic year

Rachel Connelly started teaching at Bowdoin in 1985, after completing her Ph.D. in Economics for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She regularly teaches courses in "Labor Economics and Human Resources," "The Economics of the Family" and "Economics of Education" along with "Principles of Microeconomics" and "Intermediate Microeconomics" and "Economic Statistics". At Bowdoin, Dr. Connelly has served as the Director of the Gender and Women's Studies Program, and the Chair of the Economics Department and is currently chair of the Governance and Faculty Affairs Committee.  She is a research fellow at the IZA, the Institute for the Study of Labor, in Bonn, Germany and at the Chinese Center for Human Capital and Labor Market Research, Beijing, China.

Dr. Connelly's research is at the intersection of demographics and labor markets. She has published articles on the effect of broad demographic trends on the labor market decisions and on the economics of child care. Her research on child care considers both sides of the market -- the demand for child care on the part of families with young children, the labor supply of child care workers, employers use of child care as an employment benefit, and parental child caregiving time.

Her most current research joint with Jean Kimmel looks at the caregiving time of parents using the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) and how parents feel about the time they spend with children.  Recent articles on time use by Connelly and Kimmel have been published in the Journal of Human Resources, Review of Economics of the Household and Feminist Economics.  In addition, Connelly and Kimmel have written a monograph, Time Use of Mothers in the United States at the Turn of the 21st Century, published by W. E. Upjohn Press.

Moving beyond the US, Dr. Connelly has a strong research interest in work and family life in modern China.  Joint with Margaret Maurer-Fazio, Connelly has published a group of articles about trade-offs between employment and family caregiving in both urban and rural China.  A recent example is “How Do Caregiving Responsibilities Shape the Time Use of Women and Men in Rural China?" which is included in the edited volume, Gender and Time Use in the Global Context: The Economics of Employment and Unpaid Labor, Rachel Connelly and Ebru Kongar (Eds.), Palgrave MacMillan,  August 2017.


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PDF Curriculum Vitae

Research & Publications

In addition to the study of child care, Connelly conducts research on issues related to women's status, education, and migration in rural China.  Her articles on China appear in The China Journal, Economics of Education Review, Feminist Economics, Journal of Human Resources, and The Journal of Contemporary China, among others. 

Over the years her research has been funded with grants from among others: NSF, ILO, W.E. Upjohn Institute, the Joint Center for Poverty Research, the Ford Foundation, and the Sage/Rockefeller Committee on the Future of Work Connelly is currently a Research Fellow at the IZA, the Institute for the Study of Labor, in Bonn, Germany.

from left to right are: Zhenming Xie, Kenneth Roberts, Rachel Connelly, BinBin Lou and Zhenzhen Zheng, all collaborators in our Chinese Rural Women Migrants project.
The picture was taken in Sichuan near one of our research sites.
Connelly Colleagues

Low-Wage America: How Employers are Reshaping Opportunity in the Workplace
Low Wage America Cover
Southern Economic Journal
Southern Economic Journal Cover

In 2003 Connelly and co-author Jean Kimmel received the Georgescu-Roegen Prize in Economics for the best article in the Southern Economic Journal, 2002-2003 volume (abstract). In 1986 Connelly received the Dorothy S. Thomas Award for best paper by a recent graduate student, Population Association of America.

In addition to teaching Introductory Economics, Intermediate Microeconomics, and Economic Statistics, Connelly teaches courses on "Labor Economics and Human Resources", "The Economics of the Family," "The Economics of Lifecycle" and "Applied Research Practicum: Chinese Rural to Urban Migration." The latter four courses are all cross listed with the Gender and Women's Studies Program and the last one is also cross listed with Asian Studies. At Bowdoin, Connelly has served as the Director of the Gender and Women's Studies Program, and the Chair of the Economics Department.