Kelly Musick


Kelly Musick

Associate Professor
254 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Phone: 607-255-6067 Fax: 607-255-4071
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Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:

Kelly Musick is Associate Professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management. She received her M.P.A. in economics and public policy from Princeton University in 1996 and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000. She was on the sociology faculty at the University of Southern California before moving to Cornell in 2008. Her research focuses on family change and social inequality. She has taught classes in family demography, population, social statistics, and research methods at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Current Professional Activities:

Musick is a Visiting Researcher at the Stockholm University Demography Unit (SUDA) and the Linnaeus Center for Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe (SPaDE) for the 2014-15 academic year. She is an active member of Cornell's Population Center (CPC), the Population Association of America (PAA), and the American Sociological Association (ASA), as well as founding member of the Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN). Musick regularly organizes sessions for the PAA and ASA meetings and has served in various leadership roles, including Secretary/Treasurer of the ASA Section on Children and Youth, Council member of the ASA Population Section, and member of the PAA Program Committee. She serves as a consulting editor for Sociological Science and member of the International Nonmarital Childbearing Network organized by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany.

Current Research Activities:

Musick studies changing family patterns, with a focus on how they relate to social inequality and the well-being of family members. Her research has been supported by a K01 Mentored Scientist Award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. She has published on women's childbearing intentions; the quality and stability of cohabiting relationships; differences in the family formation patterns of more and less socially advantaged women; and links between children’s well-being and family environments, including their family income and living arrangements, conflict among family members, and family meals and other shared activities.

In a new project (with colleagues from the University of Minnesota), Musick is looking at trends in U.S. couples’ work and earnings following childbirth and their implications for rising family inequality. Women’s earnings have become an increasingly important part of family income across the industrialized world, yet women continue to shoulder a disproportionate share of domestic responsibilities. The transition to parenthood is a particularly salient turning point, when mothers cut back at work to accommodate new time demands at home, and earnings gaps between partners widen. Have men and women become more similar over time in their employment responses to childbirth? What are the implications of gendered changes in the division of labor for broader trends in social inequality? Work in progress (with colleagues at Stockholm University) further explores these questions using cross-national data to tap the roles of normative and policy contexts in shaping couple-level negotiations around work and family. 

In other on-going work (with collaborators at Cornell and the University of Minnesota and funding from the Cornell Population Center and Institute for Social Sciences), Musick examines how parents fare in the context of today’s time-intensive and child-centered mode of parenting. This project draws on new questions in the American Time Use Survey to assess multiple dimensions of parental well-being in time with children, for example, happiness and stress. It focuses in particular on how the link between well-being and parenting is shaped by factors like gender, social class, work arrangements, and family structure. Broadly, this work informs our understanding of how the context of parenting contributes to the joys and strains of raising children.

Courses Taught:

PAM 2030 Population and Public Policy
PAM 2150/SOC 2130 Research Methods
PAM/SOC 4470 Families and Social Inequality
PAM/SOC 6280 Family Demography

Selected Publications:

Raymo, James, Kelly Musick, and Miho Iwasawa. 2014. “Gender Equity, Opportunity Costs of Parenthood, and Educational Differences in Unintended First Births: Insights from Japan.” Population Research and Policy Review [] []

Meier, Ann and Kelly Musick. 2014. “Variation in Associations Between Family Dinners and Adolescent Well-Being.” Journal of Marriage and Family. 76(1):13–23. [published paper] [working paper]

Michelmore, Katherine and Kelly Musick. 2013. “Fertility Patterns of College Graduates by Field of Study, U.S. Women Born 1960–79.” Population Studies. [published paper] [working paper]

Musick, Kelly and Ann Meier. 2012. “Assessing Causality and Persistence in Associations Between Family Dinners and Adolescent Well-Being.” Journal of Marriage and Family. 74(3):476-93. [published paper] [working paper]

Musick, Kelly, Jennie Brand, and Dwight Davis. 2012. “Variation in the Relationship Between Education and Marriage: Marriage Market Mismatch?” Journal of Marriage and Family 74(1):53-69. [published paper] [working paper]

Musick, Kelly and Larry Bumpass. 2012. “Re-Examining the Case for Marriage: Union Formation and Changes in Well-Being.” Journal of Marriage and Family 74(1):1-18. [published paper] [working paper]

Musick, Kelly and Ann Meier. 2010. "Are Both Parents Always Better Than One? Parental Conflict and Young Adult Well-Being." Social Science Research 39:814-30. [published paper] [working paper]
Musick, Kelly, Paula England, Sarah Edgington, and Nicole Kangas. 2009. "Education Differences in Intended and Unintended Fertility." Social Forces 88(2):543-72. [paper]

Musick, Kelly, Judith A. Seltzer, and Christine R. Schwartz. 2008. “Neighborhood Norms and Substance Use Among Teens.” Social Science Research 37(1):138-55. [paper]

Wu, Lawrence L. and Kelly Musick. 2008. “Stability of Marital and Cohabiting Unions Following a First Birth.” Population Research and Policy Review 27(6):713-27. [paper]

Musick, Kelly. 2007. “Cohabitation, Nonmarital Childbearing, and the Marriage Process.” Demographic Research 16(9):249-86. [paper]

Musick, Kelly and Robert D. Mare. 2006. “Recent Trends in the Inheritance of Poverty and Family Structure.” Social Science Research 35(2):471-99. [paper]

Musick, Kelly and Robert D. Mare. 2004. “Family Structure, Intergenerational Mobility, and the Reproduction of Poverty: Evidence for Increasing Polarization?” Demography 41(4):629-48. [paper]

Musick, Kelly. 2002. “Planned and Unplanned Childbearing Among Unmarried Women.” Journal of Marriage and Family 64(4):915-29. [paper]

Searchable Keywords:
family demography, social inequality, fertility, marriage, cohabitation, child well-being

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.