Sarah Kostecki is level III Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy. She is currently working on her dissertation titled “Work-family Reconciliation Policies across 32 Middle- and High-Income Countries: Good or Bad for Gender Equality in Employment?”
Saira Rafiee: How did you become interested in economic inequality?
Sarah Kostecki: My interest in inequality stems mainly from the 2008 economic recession. I am originally from Southeastern Michigan, an area that was hit particularly hard by the recession. After the recession, my dad lost his job and saw his healthcare costs increase. I took out a fair amount of student loans to complete my undergraduate degree, but couldn’t consolidate my loans because banks were no longer taking applications once the recession began. I started to think about how policy in the U.S. (or lack thereof) perpetuates inequalities in access to necessities like healthcare and education. I began to see that universal healthcare and low-cost higher education are essential for the well-being of all families — regardless of the country’s economic situation.
SR: Tell us more about your dissertation.