Louise Roth

Associate Professor

Louise Roth is a sociologist who studies how organizations and laws influence justice and quality of life for women. Her research uses mixed methods to analyze the effects of organizational and legal structures on gender inequality in employment and on maternity care practices.  

Her book, Reproductive Regimes: Birth, Malpractice, and the Maternity Care Business in the United States (under contract at NYU Press), analyzes the effects of regulate medical malpractice and reproductive rights laws on maternity care practices in the United States. In Reproductive Regimes, and related articles in Social Problems and the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Roth uses quantitative data on the effects of state-level laws and qualitative data from in-depth interviews with obstetricians, midwives, malpractice attorneys, hospital administrators, and health insurance executives to understand the relationship between the legal environment and birth outcomes like early induction and cesarean delivery. The research was funded by a $137,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF 0958190). Dr. Roth has also conducted a cross-national survey of Maternity Support Workers (doulas, childbirth educators, and labor and delivery nurses) in Canada and the United States, and published this research in the Journal of Obstetric Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN), Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, and Research in the Sociology of Healthcare.

Louise Roth's research on the effects of law and organizations on gender inequality in employment include her first book, Selling Women Short: Gender and Money on Wall Street
(Princeton University Press 2006), seven journal articles on gender in finance, and an article on the effects of performance bonuses on gender inequality in medicine (Social Currents 2016). Her primary focus in this research has been the systematically unequal effects of pay systems that rely on performance evaluations and are supposed to reward workers based on merit. Dr. Roth has continued to analyze gender and racial bias in hiring, work assignments, evaluations, and promotion as a member of the Bias Interrupters Working Group.