Elia De la Cruz Toledo

Columbia University Population Research Center

Elia De la Cruz Toledo is a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia Population Research Center. She received her Ph.D. in 2014 from Columbia University's School of Social Work with a specialization in social policy analysis under the sponsorship of Dr. Jane Waldfogel.

In her doctoral dissertation, entitled “Essays on Women’s Employment in Mexico,” Dr. De la Cruz Toledo analyzed the changes in female employment in Mexico over the past two decades. Her dissertation consisted of three empirical papers that explored hypotheses for this increase in women’s employment: the ‘motherhood penalty’ decreased, universal preschool encouraged mothers’ employment, and the selection-adjusted gender wage gap is no longer significant in the Mexican labor market. To test these hypotheses, she decomposed the role of changes in payoffs and endowments of ‘motherhood’ in explaining changes in women’s employment over the past two decades. Second, she analyzed, through a difference-in-difference methodology, the effect of changes in preschool enrollment on mothers’ employment. Third, she measured the gender wage gap incorporating actual job experience, and cognitive and non-cognitive traits (previously unaccounted for in Mexican studies).

As a post-doctoral researcher, Dr. De la Cruz Toledo is working with Dr. Ronald Mincy on analyzing the effects of fathers' income dynamics on child well-being, and with Dr. Jane Waldfogel on studying the economic valuation of health-related interventions that aim to improve the health of adolescents and young adults, in preparation for a Lancet Commission report on adolescent health. She also has research interests in the dynamics of gender inequality in the labor market, the barriers to women's employment and the opportunity costs of childbearing.