Education can open the door to economic opportunities, especially for disadvantaged groups. Government policies can also reduce inequalities in the labour market. As Canada Research Chair in Applied Microeconomics, Dr. Serena Canaan is examining how education and parental leave policies can improve economic and social outcomes for equity-seeking groups.
She and her research team are gathering evidence in three related areas: the impact of streaming in schools on students’ education in the long run and the decisions they later make about marriage and children; the impact of government-funded maternity leave on women’s employment and economic opportunities and, in turn, their exposure to intimate partner violence; and the impact of encountering religious diversity during university on students’ attitudes toward people from religious minorities. The insights they uncover may lead to strategies to reduce economic, gender and social inequality.