Louise Roth

About Louise Roth

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 (https://biasinterrupters.org/).

Research Interests

Areas of expertise include gender, organizations, law, and the family.

Selected Publications

  • Roth, Louise Marie. Reproductive Regimes: Birth, Malpractice, and the Maternity Care Business in the United States. Under contract at NYU Press.
  • Naiman-Sessions, Miriam, Megan M. Henley, and Louise Marie Roth. 2017. “Bearing the Burden of Care: Emotional Burnout among Maternity Support Workers.” Health and Health Care Concerns among Women and Racial and Ethnic Minorities. Jennie Jacobs Kronenfeld (ed.) Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Vol. 35: 99-125.
  • Roth, Louise Marie. 2016. “What’s the Rush? Tort Laws and Early Elective Delivery.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 57(4): 486-501. doi:10.1177/0022146516669971.
  • Roth, Louise Marie. 2016. “A Doctor’s Worth: Bonus Criteria and the Gender Pay Gap among American Physicians.” Social Currents 3(1): 3-23. DOI: 10.1177/2329496515603728
  • Cote, Rochelle R., Jessica Jensen, Louise Marie Roth, and Sandra Way. 2015. “The Effects of Gendered Networks on U.S. Migration: A Comparison of 4 Latin American Countries.” Demography. 52(3). DOI: 10.1007/s13524-015-0396-z. (Names are in alphabetical order to reflect equal contributions.)
  • Louise Marie Roth and Megan M. Henley. 2012. “Unequal Motherhood: Inequality in Cesarean Sections in the United States.” Social Problems 59, 2 (May): 207-227.
  • Louise Marie Roth and Jeffrey C. Kroll. 2007. “Risky Business: Assessing Risk-Preference Explanations for Gender Differences in Religiosity.” American Sociological Review 72, 2 (April): 205-220.
  • Louise Marie Roth. 2006. Selling Women Short: Gender and Money on Wall Street. Princeton University Press.
  • Louise Marie Roth. 2003. “Selling Women Short: Gender Differences in Compensation on Wall Street.” Social Forces, 82(2): 783-802. Reprinted in Workplace/Women’s Place: An Anthology. 3rd Edition. Paula J. Dubeck and Dana Dunn (eds). Los Angles: Roxbury Publishing, 2006.


View my complete CV 


Data on Malpractice and Maternity Care in the United States:

  • Tort and Reproduction Laws 1994-2010 (Excel)
  • Tort and Reproduction Codebook (PDF)
  • Codebook for Currie and MacLeod 2008 - copy (PDF)
  • Litigiousness Coding (Excel)
  • Obstetric Malpractice Data (Excel)
  • Obstetric Malpractice Codebook (PDF)
Louise Roth's picture

Contact Information

Louise Roth
Associate Professor of Sociology
Telephone: (520) 621-3525
Office: Social Sciences Room 438