Two members of the Faculty of Social Science have been named as Western University Faculty Scholars for 2018: Rachel Margolis, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, and Salvador Navarro, Associate Professor in the Department of Economics.
Margolis’ research is focused on the change in family and demography. Margolis is examining how kinship networks are thinning in North America and Europe, and the policy implications that may have. Margolis also studies how the probability of becoming a grandparent has changed over time, as have the timing and duration of grandparenthood among those who experience it. Margolis has examined how difficulties surrounding the transition to parenthood contribute to the currently low levels of fertility in many countries. Margolis is extending this research to examine how parental leave policies shape family dynamics by affecting who takes leave within a family, whether the couple has an additional child, and whether family friendly policies in Canada affect the level of fertility, overall or for subpopulations. Margolis has produced highly cited articles discussing each of these topics
Margolis has made significant contributions to teaching at Western University, and she has an exceptional record of teaching and mentoring graduate and postgraduate students. Dr. Margolis developed a very popular undergraduate course, Sociology 2180, Development and Health Inequalities. This course draws students from multiple faculties and introduces them to the study of population health and health inequalities. Each semester, students note that it was one of the best courses they have taken.
Navarro’s research is grounded on the idea that one can apply economic theory paired with cutting edge statistical methods to better understand the common determinants of the differential success” of economic agents. In recent years, researchers and statistical agencies throughout the world have made available new, detailed, firm-level data sets, and Navarro’s research has played an important role in our understanding of the lessons we can learn from them, and the ways in which we can measure and improve the performance of a range of economic agents. His research has reached a world-wide audience. Navarro has published 14 peer-reviewed articles and 3 book chapters, has given invited seminars in more than 60 universities, research institutions and central banks, and 48 conferences talks.
Navarro has made significant contributions to teaching at the University of Western Ontario, teaching courses in Labor Economics, Social Networks, and Econometrics in the Ph.D. program. He also developed a new curriculum for the Advanced Methods for Applied Economics class that all second year Ph.D. students now are required to take, and which students from Ivey regularly take. In this class, he teaches students computational methods that are at the forefront of what quantitative researchers employ in Economics.