Affiliates & Research Staff

Researchers associated with IRP consist of University of Wisconsin faculty members in the social sciences, staff research scientists, and faculty members from institutions across the country.

IRP’s cadre of about 160 faculty affiliates is multidisciplinary, composed of leading scholars in economics, sociology, public affairs, social work, demography, human ecology, developmental psychology, educational policy studies, rural sociology, political science, population health, business, and law.

Each year, these scholars publish research in the most distinguished journals of their disciplines, as well as in books and conferences volumes; they teach undergraduate and graduate courses in poverty studies; and they mentor emerging scholars. As IRP affiliates, they collaborate on research, speak at IRP events, and contribute to the Discussion Paper series.

Alphabetical Listing of Affiliates

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z  


Fenaba R. Addo

Fenaba Addo

Assistant Professor
Department of Consumer Science
School of Human Ecology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Nancy Nicholas Hall
1300 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-2831

  • Cohabitation and marriage
  • Debt and wealth
  • Social determinants of racial health and wealth disparities
  • Transition to adulthood

Dr. Addo's research focuses on family and household financial behavior, family formation processes, and racial wealth inequality. Her primary demographic focus is on women and children and economically vulnerable populations, like the low-income and young adults. More specifically, Dr. Addo's research examines how financial resources impact family decision-making across the life course, shedding light on the pathways through which economic resource deprivation may generate inequitable health and wealth outcomes.

Addo's research has appeared in Family Relations, The American Sociological Review, Social Science Research, Demography, and The Journal of Marriage and Family and been supported by the RWJ Foundation and NIH. Current projects consider the health, economic, and social consequences of bankruptcy on ethnic minorities, women, and their families, and wealth loss on financial attitudes and behaviors.

Fenaba Addo's home page

John S. Ahlquist

Associate Professor
School of Global Policy and Strategy
University of California, San Diego
MC 0519
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
(858) 534-9825

  • Political economy of labor market institutions and organizations
  • The political role of organized labor
  • The role of trade and other international economic relationships

John Ahlquist is a political scientist with broad interest in issues of poverty and inequality. His research interests center on understanding why different societies come to tolerate widely different distributions of economic resources and opportunities and how such distributions affect political, economic, and social outcomes. Most of his current research focuses on the political economy of labor market institutions and organizations, especially the political role of organized labor. His research is resolutely comparative, in the sense of leveraging data from a variety of contexts, including both rich and developing nations. His work is also fundamentally grounded in an open-economy perspective. He is a research associate in political economy at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

John S. Ahlquist's home page

Anna Aizer

Anna Aizer

Professor of Economics and Public Policy
Department of Economics
Brown University
Robinson Hall, Room 302a
64 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
(401) 863-9529

  • Child health
  • Child support
  • Domestic violence
  • Intergenerational transmission of poverty

Anna Aizer is a health and labor economist with interests in the area of child health and well-being. The focus of her current work is explaining the intergenerational transmission of economic status and why the children of poor mothers are likely to be poor as adults. Her research has been featured in Science ("The Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality: Maternal Disadvantage and Health at Birth"), American Economic Review ("The Long Term Impact of Cash Transfers to Poor Families"), and Quarterly Journal of Economics ("Juvenile Incarceration, Human Capital and Future Crime: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Judges").

Anna Aizer's home page

Lisa T. Alexander

Lisa Alexander

School of Law
Texas A&M University
Office 218
1515 Commerce Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
(817) 212-3858

  • Low-income housing law and policy
  • Urban gentrification and minority displacement
  • Local government law and regional governance
  • Social entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations in urban reform
  • Law and culture

Lisa Alexander's teaching and research interests lie at the intersection of law and poverty, housing law and policy, urban redevelopment, land use and regional governance, and non-profits and social entrepreneurs in urban reform. Her scholarship explores the role of law in contemporary urbanism and how the increased use of private laws in urban redevelopment advantages or disadvantages low-income, minority communities. Her future research will explore how low-income individuals use the internet for economic development and which legal structures best facilitate equitable development in urban revitalization. Lisa Alexander is a former Associate Editor of the Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law, a quarterly legal publication of the American Bar Association. Lisa Alexander was also recently appointed to the Wisconsin State Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Lisa Alexander's home page

Scott W. Allard

Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington
Parrington Hall 224
Box 353055
Seattle, WA 98195-3055
(206) 221-4872

  • Income and social inequality
  • Poverty
  • Social welfare policy
  • Urban and social policy

Scott W. Allard's research focuses on issues of inequality and poverty, the institutional components of the safety net, and matters of federalism as they relate to antipoverty policy. Recent work includes an examination of the transformation of the safety net from cash-based to service-based forms of assistance, and the role that faith-based and secular nonprofits play in delivering these new forms of assistance. Other recent work includes analysis of the spatial relationships between poverty, program participation, and opportunity, including several studies on the significant spatial variation in access to public and nonprofit service providers in urban America. Current ongoing projects include the study of the suburbanization of poverty, shifting spatial patterns of public assistance receipt, use of informal social support in the wake of the Great Recession, and immigrant access to safety net programs.

Scott Allard's home page

Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat

Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat

Associate Professor
Faculty Research Scholar, DuPRI's Population Research Center
Sanford School of Public Policy and Department of Economics
Duke University
230 Rubenstein Hall
201 Science Drive
Durham, NC 27708
(919) 613-7302

  • Demography
  • Work and family
  • Racial discrimination
  • Income inequality
  • Poverty

Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat is an applied labor economist. Her research focuses on the intergenerational dynamics of poverty and inequality in the United States, including: the causes and consequences of racial segregation, determinants of family structure, effects of local economic change, and reproductive decisionmaking. She takes particular interest in quasi-experimental methods for causal inference and in interdisciplinary approaches to understanding social problems.

Her work has been published in such outlets as Review of Economics and Statistics, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Human Resources, and Demography. In 2010 she served as Senior Economist for Labor, Education, and Welfare at the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat's home page

Robert Asen

Department of Communication Arts
University of Wisconsin–Madison
6142 Vilas Hall
821 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-1418

  • Public assistance
  • Social Security
  • Education
  • Markets and public policy
  • Social and economic inequality and public deliberation

Robert Asen’s poverty-related research explores historical and contemporary debates in institutional forums (i.e., congressional committee hearings, House and Senate floor debates, school-board meetings) regarding U.S. social policy. His first two books explore debates over public assistance and Social Security, and he is currently conducting a long-term study of education policy. He is interested in interactions among debates at national and local levels of government. Robert Asen is also interested in the impact of social and economic inequalities on public deliberation, namely, how such inequalities may exclude some citizens from debating public issues and how these citizens seek to overcome such exclusions.

Robert Asen's home page

David Autor

Ford Professor of Economics, Associate Department Head, and Director, NBER Disability Research Center
Department of Economics
Morris and Sophie Chang Building
50 Memorial Drive, E52-438
Cambridge, MA 02142
(617) 258-7698

  • Human capital and earnings inequality
  • Labor market impacts of technological change and globalization
  • Disability insurance and labor supply
  • Temporary help and other intermediated work arrangements

David Autor is a Professor and Associate Department Head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Economics. He is also a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and Editor in Chief of the Journal of Economic Perspectives (published by the American Economic Association), and has served on the Board of Editors at the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics and the Journal of Labor Economics. Professor Autor received a B.A. in Psychology from Tufts University in 1989 and a Ph.D. in Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in 1999. His current fields of specialization include human capital and earnings inequality, labor market impacts of technological change and globalization, disability insurance and labor supply, and temporary help and other intermediated work arrangements.

Professor Autor is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award for his research on labor market intermediation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and the Sherwin Rosen Prize in 2008 for outstanding contributions in the field of Labor Economics. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists and was a recipient of both the John T. Dunlop Outstanding Scholar Award given by the Labor and Employment Relations Association (2006) and MIT Undergraduate Economics Association Teaching Award (2005). Professor Autor is currently a member of the American Economic Association's Standing Committee on Oversight and Operation of Programs (SCOOP). Prior to obtaining his Ph.D., Professor Autor spent three years directing efforts in San Francisco and South Africa to teach computer skills to economically disadvantaged children and adults.

David Autor's home page


Judith Bartfeld

Professor, Food Security Research and Policy Specialist, and Meta Schroeder Beckner Outreach Professor
Department of Consumer Science
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4218 Nancy Nicholas Hall
1300 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-4765

  • Hunger and food insecurity
  • Child support and low-income families

Judith Bartfeld's research interests are in the areas of food security and child support policy. Current projects include an analysis of the effects of state-level characteristics on hunger and food insecurity; a study focusing on local differences in food insecurity among families of elementary schoolchildren in Wisconsin; an assessment of the feasibility of using a self-administered survey to measure food security; and research on child support arrears as a barrier to subsequent child support payments. Bartfeld holds a joint appointment with Cooperative Extension at the UW-Madison. She directs the Wisconsin Food Security Project, an interactive web site providing county-level information about food security, economic well-being, and the availability and use of public and private programs to increase access to affordable food in Wisconsin. She also directs the IRP RIDGE Center for National Food and Nutrition Assistance Research.

Judith Bartfeld's home page

Lawrence (Lonnie) Berger

Director, Institute for Research on Poverty
Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor
School of Social Work
University of Wisconsin–Madison
3420 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-6379

  • Child and family policy
  • Child development and well-being
  • Family resources
  • Family structure
  • Parenting, child maltreatment, and children's living arrangements

Lonnie Berger's research focuses on the ways in which economic resources, sociodemographic characteristics, and public policies affect parental behaviors and child and family well-being. He is engaged in studies in three primary areas: (1) examining the determinants of substandard parenting, child maltreatment, and out-of-home placement for children; (2) exploring associations among socioeconomic factors (family structure and composition, economic resources), parenting behaviors, and children's care, development, and well-being; and (3) assessing the influence of public policies on parental behaviors and child and family well-being. To address these topics, he utilizes a variety of statistical techniques to analyze data from a range of large-scale datasets. His work aims to inform public policy in order to improve its capacity to assist families in accessing resources, improving family functioning and well-being, and ensuring that children are able to grow and develop in the best possible environments. This research has largely been funded by the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Administration on Children and Families), Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Lawrence Berger's home page

Rebecca M. Blank

Rebecca M. Blank

Chancellor, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Professor, Department of Economics
161 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-9946

Rebecca Blank's research focuses on the interaction between the macroeconomy, government anti-poverty programs, and the behavior and well-being of low-income families. She is the author or editor of ten books, including her most recent works, Changing Inequality (University of California Press, 2011) and Insufficient Funds: Savings, Assets, Credit, and Banking Among Low-Income Families with M. Barr (Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2009).

Dr. Blank is chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Previously, Blank was the Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Secretary at the Department of Commerce. She was the Robert S. Kerr Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and, prior to Brookings, was dean of the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy and co-director of the National Poverty Center. She served as a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1997 to 1999 and was a professor of economics and IPR faculty fellow at Northwestern University and director of the Joint Center for Poverty Research. She is a faculty affiliate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Blank was an IRP affiliate prior to starting as secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and was an IRP visiting scholar during the fall of 1985.

Rebecca Blank's home page

Marianne N. Bloch

Professor Emerita
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
University of Wisconsin–Madison
528 Teacher Education Building
225 North Mills Street
Madison, WI 53706

  • Welfare reform and child care
  • Child development and learning
  • Ethnographic/qualitative research in community settings

Marianne Bloch's research has focused on historical and cross-cultural issues related to early childhood education and child care in the United States, Africa, and in East/Central Europe. Her interests include studies of women, work, child care, and child care policy. Her latest research focuses on the implications of welfare reform in Wisconsin on families, children, and child care.

Karen Bogenschneider

Rothermel-Bascom Professor Emerita
Founder, Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars
School of Human Ecology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
2187 Nancy Nicholas Hall
1300 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-4070

Karen Bogenschneider is a Rothermel Bascom Professor of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a Family Policy Specialist at University of Wisconsin-Extension. Bogenschneider has served as director of the Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars since its inception in 1993—a series of presentations, briefing reports, and discussion sessions for state policymakers. Since 1999, she has served as Executive Director of the Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars, which is currently providing technical assistance to 26 sites across the country that are conducting or planning to conduct Family Impact Seminars in their state capitals.

Bogenschneider's latest book co-authored with Thomas Corbett, Evidence-Based Policymaking: Insights from Policy-Minded Researchers and Research-Minded Policymakers—was released in April 2010. Her book, Family Policy Matters: How Policymaking Affects Families and What Professionals Can Do, is in its second edition. Her invited decade review on family policy (coauthored with Corbett) appeared in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family. Karen has published in academic journals such as Child Development and in applied journals such as Family Relations.

Bogenschneider holds a named professorship, the highest award given to professors at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She was awarded fellow status by the National Council on Family Relations for enduring contributions to the family field. In 2008, she received the Engagement Award from the Board of Human Sciences of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges for her exceptional creativity and scholarship in the development, application and evaluation of outreach programs. She has also received several awards from her university for faculty excellence, land grant scholarship, and quality outreach.

Karen Bogenschneider's home page

Harry Brighouse

Harry Brighouse

Carol Dickson-Bascom Professor of the Humanities
Departments of Philosophy & Education Policy Studies
University of Wisconsin–Madison
5119 Helen C. White Hall
600 North Park Street
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-8136

  • Education policy and philosophy
  • Ethics of parenting, childhood, and the family
  • Political philosophy

Brighouse's research interests span political philosophy, philosophy of education, and educational policy. He is Director of the Center of Ethics and Education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and co-directs the Spencer Foundation's Initiative on Philosophy in Educational Policy and Practice. Brighouse has recently published two books: Family Values: the Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships (Princeton 2014), a book on the justification of the family coauthored with Adam Swift; and The Aims of Higher Education: Problems of Morality and Justice (Chicago, 2015), a collection of original essays by distinguished philosophers about issues in higher education, edited with Michael McPherson.

Harry Brighouse's home page

Tonya L. Brito

Jefferson Burrus-Bascom Professor of Law
School of Law
University of Wisconsin–Madison
8103 Law Building
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 265-6475

  • Family law, particularly issues relating to children
  • Law and society
  • Poverty law

Tonya Brito's scholarly interests are in the areas of family law, children's issues, and poverty law. She has written on the relationship between family law and welfare law, child support, and the image of mothers in poverty discourse. More recently, she has worked with colleagues across campus as part of IRP's Child Support Demonstration Evaluation. Her work here has examined how the child support rules treat families where there is multiple-partner fertility and how the child support rules treat situations of shared parenting.

Tonya Brito's home page

William A. Brock

Vilas Research Professor Emeritus
Department of Economics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
6430 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-6665

  • Econometrics of policy evaluation and social interaction effects
  • Economic growth and the environment
  • Dynamics of human-dominated ecosystems

William Brock does research on robustification of policy analysis to model uncertainty with applications to macroeconomic policy, growth policy, and management of human-dominated ecosystems, as well as on econometric issues raised by measuring social interactions effects.

William Brock's home page

Patricia R. Brown

Senior Researcher Emerita
Institute for Research on Poverty
University of Wisconsin–Madison
6402 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-7770

  • Linkage and use of administrative data
  • Child support policy, especially in Wisconsin

Patricia Brown's primary interests are in the linking and merging of administrative data, and the use of administrative and survey data and research in the area of child support, including child support guidelines, child custody, and shared physical placement.

Sarah K. Bruch

Sarah Bruch

Assistant Professor

Director, Social and Education Policy Research Program Department of Sociology and Public Policy Center
University of Iowa
W130 Seashore Hall
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1401
(319) 335-0680

  • Social stratification
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Social policy and politics
  • Sociology of education
  • Education policy
  • Quantitative methods
  • Political sociology

Sarah K. Bruch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Iowa. Her research focuses broadly on social stratification and public policy. In particular, she focuses on integrating theoretical insights from relational and social theorists into the empirical study of inequalities. She brings this approach to the study of social policy, education, race, politics, and citizenship. Her work has been published in leading academic journals including the American Sociological Review, Sociology of Education, Journal of Marriage and Family, and Child Development.

Bruch's current research includes three streams. The first focuses on U.S. social policies, examining their social and distributional impacts as well as their consequences for civic and political life. The second focuses on schools as organized sites of racialized authority relations that shape life trajectories and function as formative experiences of citizenship. The third focuses on the interplay of racial and economic inequalities, seeking to clarify how they relate to each other, how they are connected to state policy choices, and how they are produced through specific relational and policy mechanisms.

Sara Bruch's home page

Larry Bumpass

Norman B. Ryder Professor of Sociology, Emeritus
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
2440 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-2182

  • Family well-being
  • Children's experiences and life-course development
  • Cohabitation and nonmarital childbearing
  • Family change in East Asia

Research by Larry Bumpass focuses on the social demography of the family, including cohabitation, marriage, the stability of unions, contraception and fertility (especially unmarried childbearing), and the implications of these processes for children's living arrangements and subsequent life-course development. This work has found particular focus in the design, execution, and analysis of the National Survey of Families and Households, of which he was co-director.

Larry Bumpass's home page

Richard V. Burkhauser

Professor Emeritus of Policy Analysis
Department of Policy Analysis and Management
Cornell University
259 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
1 Lowell Place
Ithaca, NY 14853-4401
(607) 255-2097

Richard V. Burkhauser has extensively studied how public policies affect the economic behavior and well-being of vulnerable populations, such as older persons, people with disabilities, and low-income households. His research is currently focused on issues related to better measuring the employment and economic well-being of the working-age population with disabilities both in the United States and in European Union countries, as well as estimating the impact of greater access to health insurance to their employment. He is also working on other health and disability issues, including evaluating the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 on employer-provided health care benefits, and on economic inequality. As a member of the RAND Financial Planning Research Consortium (Social Security Administration), he is working on a project that will increase the knowledge of SSI-disabled children beneficiaries and their families on the returns to work once these children age out of the SSI-disabled children program.

Richard Burkhauser's home page

Marguerite E. Burns

Marguerite Burns

Assistant Professor
Department of Population Health Sciences
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Room 760A WARF Building
610 North Walnut Street
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 265-5282

  • Poverty, health care, and health outcomes
  • Medicaid and Medicare
  • Mental health care programs and policy

Marguerite Burns's work broadly concerns understanding the linkages between health insurance design, health care delivery, and health care outcomes for vulnerable populations. Her current research examines the effects of public health insurance enrollment policy, benefit structure, and provider compensation on the quality and costs of mental health care for adults with serious mental illness; and the impact of co-morbid mental illness (two or more disorders occurring in the same person) on hospital readmission risk, cost, and responsiveness to intervention.

Marguerite Burns's home page

Gary Burtless

John C. and Nancy D. Whitehead Chair
Senior Fellow, Economic Studies
Economic Studies Division
Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 797-6130

  • Labor market policy
  • Income distribution
  • Population aging
  • Social insurance
  • Household saving
  • The behavioral effects of taxes and government transfers

Gary Burtless does research on issues associated with public finance, aging, saving, labor markets, income distribution, social insurance, and the behavioral effects of government tax and transfer policy. He served as an economist in the U.S. Department of Labor (1979–81) and the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (1977–79).His recent research has focused on the influence of the nation's health insurance system on the income distribution, sources of growing income inequality in the United States, the impact of federal stimulus programs on the economy and social protection, and the implications of reforming the American social security system.

Burtless was co-editor of the Journal of Human Resources, 1988–1996, and the Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs, 2004–2009. He was co-author of Globaphobia: Confronting Fears about Open Trade (1998); Five Years After: The Long Term Effects of Welfare-to-Work Programs (1995), Growth with Equity: Economic Policymaking for the Next Century (1993), and Can America Afford to Grow Old? Paying for Social Security (1989), and editor and contributor to Aging Societies: The Global Dimension (1998), Does Money Matter? The Effect of School Resources on Student Achievement and Adult Success (1996), A Future of Lousy Jobs? The Changing Structure of U.S. Wages (1990), Work, Health and Income Among the Elderly (1987) and Retirement and Economic Behavior (1984). He is also the author of numerous scholarly and popular articles on the economic effects of Social Security, public welfare, unemployment insurance, and taxes.

Gary Burtless's home page


Maria Cancian

La Follette School of Public Affairs and School of Social Work
University of Wisconsin–Madison
3436 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 265-9037

  • Welfare reform and evaluation
  • Child support and family policy
  • Child welfare policy
  • Economics of the family
  • Distribution of income

Maria Cancian is a former director of IRP. Her research considers the relationship between public policies and changes in marriage, fertility, and employment, with a focus on the implications of child support policy for the well-being of divorced and never-married families; the employment and income of women who have received welfare; and the impact of married women's growing employment and earnings on marriage patterns and the distribution of income. Ongoing research projects consider the implications of multiple-partner fertility for family organization and policy, as well as the interactions of the incarceration, child welfare, and child support systems. She is Principal Investigator, with Daniel Meyer, of the Child Support Research Agreement. She spent 2010 as a W. T. Grant Foundation Distinguished Fellow in residence at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.

Maria Cancian's home page

David Card

Class of 1950 Professor of Economics
Director, Labor Studies Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Department of Economics
University of California, Berkeley
530 Evans Hall, #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
(510) 642-5222

  • Immigration
  • Wages
  • Education
  • Antipoverty programs
  • Health insurance

David Card's research interests include immigration, wages, education, antipoverty programs, and health insurance. He co-authored the 1995 book Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage, and co-edited The Handbook of Labor Economics (1999 and 2011 editions), Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms (2004); and Small Differences that Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States (1992). He has also published over 90 journal articles and book chapters.

Card was co-editor of Econometrica from 1991 to 1995 and co-editor of the American Economic Review from 2002 to 2005. He taught at Princeton University from 1983 to 1996, and has held visiting appointments at Columbia University and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. In 1992 he was elected a fellow of the Econometric Society, and in 1998 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1995 he received the American Economic Association's John Bates Clark Prize, which is awarded every other year to the economist under 40 whose work is judged to have made the most significant contribution to the field. He was a co-recipient of the IZA Labor Economics Award in 2006, and was awarded the Frisch Medal by the Econometric Society in 2007.

David Card's home page

Marcia J. Carlson

Director, Center for Demography and Ecology
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4452 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-1085

  • Child and family well-being and related public policy
  • Father involvement
  • Co-parenting
  • Union formation and relationship quality among unmarried parents

Marcia (Marcy) Carlson's primary research interests center on the links between family contexts and the well-being of children and parents, including implications for relevant public policies. Her most recent work is focused on father involvement, co-parenting, union formation, and couple relationship quality among unmarried parents—a demographic group at high risk of poverty. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology (demography) from the University of Michigan in 1999, completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University (Center for Research on Child Wellbeing) from 1999 to 2001, and was an Assistant/Associate Professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work from 2001 to 2008. Prior to graduate school, she worked for three years on social policy issues in Washington, DC.

Marcia Carlson's home page

Amitabh Chandra

Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy
Director, Health Policy Research
Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University
Taubman 344, Mailbox 114
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 496-7356

Amitabh Chandra is an economist and a professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a Research Fellow at the IZA Institute in Bonn, Germany, and at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). His research focuses on productivity and cost-growth in health care and racial disparities in health care. His research has been supported by the National Institute of Aging, the National Institute of Child Health and Development, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, the New England Journal of Medicine, and Health Affairs. He is an editor of the Journal of Human Resources, Economics Letters, and the American Economic Journal.

Chandra has testified before the United States Senate, the National Academy of Science, the Institute of Medicine, and the United States Commission on Civil Rights. His research has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Newsweek, and on National Public Radio. He is the recipient of an Outstanding Teacher Award, the first-prize recipient of the Upjohn Institute's International Dissertation Research Award, the Kenneth Arrow Award for best paper in health economics, and the Eugene Garfield Award for the impact of medical research.

Amitabh Chandra's home page

Edith Chen

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Psychology
Northwestern University
Swift Hall 104A
2029 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-2710
(847) 467-0366

  • Socioeconomic status
  • Child health
  • Psychosocial pathways
  • Biological mechanisms

Edith Chen's work examines low socioeconomic status (SES) as one of the most robust social risk factors for a variety of diseases throughout the lifespan across both countries with and without universal health care. For example, asthma is the most common chronic illness in childhood, and children who are lower in SES are at greater risk for more severe exacerbations of asthma. Despite this widely acknowledged epidemiological phenomenon, the psychobiological mechanisms underlying this relationship are less well-understood. Dr. Chen's research seeks to understand why low SES is associated with poor physical health outcomes in children, with a focus on the psychological and biological mechanisms that explain these relationships. This research explores pathways at the individual, family, and neighborhood levels, as well as in terms of both social and physical exposures, and the biological processes through which they operate to affect diseases such as childhood asthma.

Edith Chen's home page

Howard A. Chernick

Professor Emeritus of Economics
Department of Economics
Hunter College-CUNY
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065
(212) 772-5440

  • Public finances of cities and states
  • Fiscal federalism
  • Political economy of taxation
  • Welfare financing
  • Cigarette taxation
  • The effect of state and local fiscal policy on the well-being of the disadvantaged

Howard Chernick is a past member of the board of the National Tax Association, and a board member of Citizens for Tax Justice. He has been a visiting professor at the New School for Social Research, the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and the University of Rennes in Brittany, France. Before coming to Hunter in 1982, he was a senior economist at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has consulted for the New York City Independent Budget Office, the Financial and Fiscal Commission of South Africa, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the World Bank. He is the editor of The Economic Impact of the 9/11 Attack on NYC, Russell Sage Foundation, 2005.

Recent publications include "Fiscal Effects of Block Grants for the Needy: An Interpretation of the Evidence," International Tax and Public Finance, 1998; "The Decline in Welfare Receipt in New York City: Push vs. Pull," Eastern Economic Journal, 2004. (with Cordelia Reimers); "On the Determinants of Subnational Tax Progressivity in the U.S." National Tax Journal, 2005, "A Reconsideration of the Optimal Assignment of Redistribution Under Fiscal Federalism," National Tax Association Proceedings, 100th Annual Conference, Columbus, Ohio, 2008, "State and Local Fiscal Progressivity: Consequences for Economic Growth," Public Finance Review, July, 2010, "Tobacco Control Policies: The Impact on State and Local Taxes," in The Social and Economic Impact of Tobacco Control Policies, Columbia University Press, 2011.

Howard Chernick's home page

J. Michael Collins

Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer and Personal Finance
Associate Professor
Faculty Director, Center for Financial Security
Department of Consumer Science and La Follette School of Public Affairs
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4206 Nancy Nicholas Hall
1300 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-0369

  • Consumer behavior in financial markets
  • Low-income working families
  • The role of public policy in influencing credit, savings, and investment choices

J. Michael Collins studies consumer decision-making in the financial marketplace, including the role of public policy in influencing credit, savings, and investment choices. His work includes the study of financial literacy and counseling with a focus on low-income families. He founded PolicyLab Consulting Group, a research consulting firm working with national foundations, and co-founded MortgageKeeper Referral Services, an online database for mortgage servicers and counselors.

J. Michael Collins's home page

Jane L. Collins

Frances Perkins Professor
Department of Community & Environmental Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
312 Agricultural Hall
1450 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-1510

  • Sociology of economic change and development
  • Sociology of culture
  • Gender
  • Latin America
  • Qualitative methods

Jane Collins has conducted ethnographic studies of work in the U.S. and Latin America. She has studied family labor on small farms in Peru, women's work in the agricultural export sector in Brazil, and women's work in the globalizing apparel industry in the U.S. and Mexico. In addition to studying the workplace itself, her work focuses on home-work relations and household survival strategies of very low-wage workers.

Jane Collins's home page

Steven Cook

Institute for Research on Poverty
University of Wisconsin–Madison
3448 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-4517

Steve Cook's research has focused on the effectiveness of public programs and their effects on family well-being. Specific research projects have examined the causes and consequences of public assistance program participation, the demographics of the low-income population, and various aspects of child support enforcement policy. He has served on a panel of the state legislature addressing issues of fraud in assistance programs. He also serves as the IRP data-sharing coordinator.

Thomas Corbett

Senior Scientist Emeritus
Institute for Research on Poverty
University of Wisconsin–Madison
6239 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 261-1895

  • Welfare reform
  • Implementation research, especially at state and local levels
  • Human services systems design and integration
  • The use of evidence in the policy process

Tom Corbett remains an active affiliate with the Institute for Research on Poverty, where, until his retirement, he served as Associate Director. He has long studied trends in welfare reform and social programs that affect the well-being of vulnerable families, along with methods for assessing their effectiveness and monitoring the status of vulnerable populations. He served on a National Academy of Sciences Panel that examined methods for evaluating contemporary welfare reform. He co-edited a book with Mary Clare Lennon titled Policy Into Action: Implementation Research and Welfare Reform, an exploration of implementation-evaluation methods. More recently, he co-authored (with Karen Bogenschneider) a book titled Evidence-Based Policymaking: Insights from Policy-Minded Researchers and Research-Minded Policymakers. Over the years, he has worked on welfare reform issues at all levels of government, including a year as senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He worked with a number of senior state welfare officials particularly in the Midwest on various welfare reform issues through the Welfare Peer Assistance Network (WELPAN). Over the past decade, he has focused on the design of cutting-edge integrated human-service models and on ways to bring rigorous information into the policy process.

Mark E. Courtney

School of Social Service Administration
University of Chicago
969 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 702-1250

  • Child welfare services
  • Foster care
  • Welfare reform

Mark Courtney is a faculty affiliate of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, where he served as director from 2001 to 2006. He has also served on the faculties of the University of Washington (2007–2010) and the University of Wisconsin–Madison (1992–2000). Much of Courtney's research has focused on child welfare services and policy. His current work includes studies of the adult functioning of former foster children, experimental evaluation of independent living services for foster youth, reunification of foster children with their families, and the impact of juvenile court functioning on child welfare services outcomes.

Mark Courtney's home page

Benjamin W. Cowan

Bejamin W. Cowan

Assistant Professor
Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research
School of Economic Sciences
Washington State University
103E Hulbert Hall
Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-2184

  • Determinants of higher education attainment
  • The relationship between education and health
  • The incidence of healthcare costs
  • Adolescent risky behaviors

Ben Cowan's research focuses on relationships between education, labor-market outcomes, and health. Specific areas include how higher education policies affect health before, during, and after college; how financial aid policies affect college attainment; and how healthcare costs affect wages and other labor-market outcomes.

Benjamin Cowan's home page

Ian A. Coxhead

Ian A. Coxhead

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
417 Henry Taylor Hall
427 Lorch Street
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-6390

  • Human welfare implications of trade and other international interaction
  • Industrialization and urbanization
  • Transitions from socialist economic systems
  • Labor markets and human capital accumulation

Ian Coxhead is a professor and chair of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at UW–Madison. He conducts research and teaches in development economics. His research focuses on problems of globalization, growth, and development in Asian economies, especially Southeast Asia. Specifically, he examines the implications for human welfare (poverty, income distribution, and educational opportunities) of trade and other modes of international interaction; agricultural development and the exploitation of natural resource wealth; industrialization and urbanization; transitions from socialist economic systems, and labor markets and human capital accumulation. He is a faculty affiliate of the UW–Madison's Center for Southeast Asian Studies, La Follette School of Public Affairs, and Development Studies Ph.D. Program.

Ian Coxhead's home page

Katherine J. Cramer

Katherine Cramer

Professor of Political Science
Director, Morgridge Center for Public Service
Morgridge Center for Public Service
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Red Gym, Room 154
716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-0787

  • Public opinion
  • Civic engagement
  • Deliberative democracy

Katherine Cramer is a political scientist whose work focuses on the way people in the United States make sense of politics and their place in it. She is known for her innovative approach to the study of public opinion, in which she invites herself into the conversations of groups of people to listen to the way they understand public affairs. Her  book, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker, examines rural resentment toward cities and its implications for contemporary politics (University of Chicago Press, 2016). She has also published as Katherine Cramer Walsh and is the author of Talking about Race: Community Dialogues and the Politics of Difference (University of Chicago Press, 2007), Talking about Politics: Informal Groups and Social Identity in American Life (University of Chicago Press, 2004) and co-author of Democracy at Risk: How Political Choices Have Undermined Citizenship and What We Can Do About It.

Katherine Cramer's home page

Katherine J. Curtis

Associate Professor
Demographic Specialist, UW-Extension
Department of Community & Environmental Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
316B Agricultural Hall
1450 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-6292 or (608) 890-1900

  • Poverty and racial inequality in the U.S. and Wisconsin
  • Racial and gender inequality among participants of the southern return migration
  • Racial inequality in early twentieth-century Puerto Rico
  • Human vulnerability and climate change

Katherine Curtis's research investigates the relationship between economic transitions, demographic responses, and emerging or persisting systems of stratification. She utilizes an array of quantitative methodology in her research, including spatial data analysis, multilevel modeling, and various forms of regression analysis. Four current research projects are: (1) poverty and racial inequality in U.S. and Wisconsin communities; (2) the role of return migration in shaping contemporary racial inequality in southern poverty; (3) demographic change and inequality in early twentieth-century Puerto Rico; and (4) the implications of future climate change for vulnerable populations.

Katherine Curtis's home page

Marah Curtis

Marah Curtis

Associate Professor
School of Social Work
University of Wisconsin–Madison
1350 University Avenue, Room 303
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-3838

  • Income-conditioned policies and family well-being
  • Housing policy
  • Living arrangements
  • Policy, incarceration, and family outcomes

Marah Curtis's research focuses on the health, housing stability, and living arrangements of economically vulnerable families and individuals. She examines how benefit policies and contextual factors affect well-being with a particular focus on the impact of incarceration and housing policies. Taking into account the varying rules governing housing and other benefit policies, she pays particular attention to how program guidelines may affect decision-making around living arrangements and family formation.

Marah Curtis's home page


Sandra K. Danziger

Edith A. Lewis Collegiate Professor of Social Work, and Research Professor of Public Policy
School of Social Work
University of Michigan
1080 South University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106
(734) 615-4648

  • Effects of public programs and policies on the well-being of disadvantaged families
  • Poverty policy and social service programs
  • Demographic trends in child and family well-being
  • Gender issues across the life course

Sandra K. Danziger's primary research interests are the effects of public programs on the well-being of families and children. More broadly, she focuses on poverty, demographic trends in child and family well-being, program implementation and evaluation, and qualitative research methods. Professor Danziger's current projects address the implementation of welfare reform policies and their impacts for low-income families and children and research on well-being and social support among families disconnected from work and welfare. She was Principal Investigator on the Women's Employment Study and the From Welfare to Jobs and Independence project.

Sandra Danziger's home page

Thomas DeLeire

Professor of Public Policy
McCourt School of Public Policy
Georgetown University
100 Old North
37th and O Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20057
(202) 687-2695

  • Economic mobility
  • Family structure

Thomas DeLeire's research focuses on labor and health economics. His recent work is on economic mobility, family structure, choice of occupation, health insurance spending, and the well-being of poor households. In other work, he has examined the impact of overtime regulations on hours of work, the effect of the Americans with Disabilities Act on the employment of disabled citizens, the extent to which disabled workers face wage discrimination by employers, and the role that tax-favored savings accounts play in increasing national savings.

Thomas DeLeire's home page

Matthew Desmond

Department of Sociology
Princeton University
153 Wallace Hall
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 258-4424

  • Urban sociology
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Poverty
  • Housing
  • Organizations and work
  • Ethnography

Matthew Desmond received his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow. His primary teaching and research interests include urban sociology, race and ethnicity, poverty, social theory, organizations and work, and ethnography. Desmond is the author of On the Fireline: Living and Dying with Wildland Firefighters (2007), which won the Max Weber Award for Distinguished Scholarship by the American Sociological Association, as well as two books on race in America (both with Mustafa Emirbayer): Racial Domination, Racial Progress: The Sociology of Race in America (2009) and The Racial Order (forthcoming). He has written essays on educational inequality, dangerous work, political ideology, race and social theory, and the inner-city housing market.

Desmond is the principal investigator of the Milwaukee Area Renters Study, an original survey of tenants in Milwaukee's low-income private housing sector. His work has been supported by the MacArthur, Ford, and National Science Foundations, as well as by the American Philosophical Society; it also has been profiled in major news outlets such as The New York Times, National Public Radio, Science, and Das Erste. His current project combines ethnographic fieldwork, survey data, and documentary analysis to explore the causes, dynamics, and consequences of eviction among the urban poor and, more broadly, to plumb the inner workings of disadvantaged neighborhoods and the low-cost housing market.

Matthew Desmond's home page

Shatakshee Dhongde

Associate Professor
School of Economics
Georgia Institute of Technology
Old CE Building, Room 221
221 Bobby Dodd Way
Atlanta, Georgia 30332
(404) 894-1890

  • Development and internationsl economics
  • Health, inequality, and poverty
  • Economic measurement
  • Policy analysis
  • Applied econometrics

Shatakshee Dhongde is an assistant professor in the Georgia Tech School of Economics. Her recent work focuses on the measurement of poverty and multidimensional deprivation. She is developing multidimensional poverty indices to measure poverty in the United States. Her research on globalization and its impact on economic growth, poverty, and income inequality has been published in leading economics journals, including the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, the Review of Income and Wealth and World Development. She was awarded the Nancy and Richard Ruggles Prize for young scholars by the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth for her paper measuring segregation of the poor. She is also the recipient of the Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award by Georgia Tech.

Shatakshee Dhongde's home page

Stacy Dickert-Conlin

Department of Economics
Michigan State University
107 Old Botany
486 West Circle Drive
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 353-7275

  • Tax policy
  • Family structure

Stacy Dickert-Conlin received her Ph.D. in 1996 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her research focuses on the effect of taxes and welfare programs on family structure and labor supply decisions. She is particularly interested in whether financial incentives implicit in the welfare, income tax, and Social Security systems discourage or encourage marriage, cohabitation, and fertility.

Stacy Dickert-Conlin's home page

Thomas A. DiPrete

Giddings Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology
Columbia University
601B Knox Hall — MC9649
606 West 122nd Street
New York, NY 10027
(212) 851-9281

  • Social stratification and mobility
  • Education
  • Economic sociology
  • Family
  • Demography
  • Quantitative methodology

Thomas DiPrete's research interests include social stratification, demography, economic sociology, and quantitative methodology. Current and recent research projects include the comparative structure of inequality in European and American labor markets; the sources of variation and change in family structure in the United States and Europe; social polarization in the United States and its link with segregation in social networks along several potential dimensions of social cleavage; the causes of the widening gender gap in higher education in favor of women; and the role of social comparison and cumulative advantage processes in the trend toward rising inequality at the top of the earnings distribution.

Thomas DiPrete's home page

Laura Dresser

Associate Director, Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS)
Senior Scientist, Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
7124A Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-6944

  • Low-wage labor market and work restructuring
  • Workforce development systems
  • Wisconsin labor markets

Laura Dresser has conducted research on urban labor markets, low-wage jobs, economic restructuring and its effects on low-wage workers, and workforce development policy in the United States. She has also actively worked to develop program and policy solutions to issues in low-wage labor markets. In Milwaukee, she has had a central design and implementation role in the development of the Milwaukee Jobs Initiative where labor, community, and business partners work to improve job access and advancement for central city workers. She has worked with the U.S. AFL-CIO to document labor's contribution to training and education systems in emerging High Road Regional Partnerships. Central in her current research interests is a focus on the dynamics of low-wage service sector work and on policy solutions to improve outcomes for workers in those industries.

Laura Dresser's home page

Eva Hisako DuGoff

Assistant Professor
Department of Population Health Sciences
University of Wisconsin–Madison
701 WARF Office Building
610 North Walnut Street
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 263-2082

  • Health outcomes
  • Quality of care
  • Medicare policy
  • Measurement science
  • Survey design and analysis

DuGoff researches issues related to care coordination among older adults with multiple chronic conditions, methodological issues in pay for performance measures, and multimorbidity trajectories. Her research aims to identify opportunities for policymakers to improve health outcomes in the United States, especially for older adults with multiple chronic conditions.

Eva Hisako DuGoff's home page

Greg J. Duncan

Distinguished Professor
School of Education
University of California, Irvine
3200 Education
2001 Berkeley Place
Irvine, CA 92697-5500
(949) 824-7831

  • Inequality and poverty
  • Family poverty and child development
  • The developmental role of cognitive and socioemotional skills

Duncan has published extensively on issues of income distribution, child poverty, and welfare dependence. He is co-author with Aletha Huston and Tom Weisner of Higher Ground: New Hope for the Working Poor and Their Children (2007) and co-editor with Lindsay Chase Lansdale of For Better and For Worse: Welfare Reform and the Well-Being of Children and Families (2001). With Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, he co-edited two books on neighborhood poverty and child development: Consequences of Growing up Poor (1997) and the two-volume Neighborhood Poverty (1997), which was also co-edited with Lawrence Aber. The focus of his recent research has shifted from these environmental influences to the comparative importance of the skills and behaviors developed during childhood. In particular, he has sought to understand the relative importance of early academic skills, cognitive and emotional self-regulation, and health in promoting children's eventual success in school and the labor market.

Greg Duncan's home page

Steven N. Durlauf

Network Leader and Director, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group
Kenneth J. Arrow Professor of Economics Emeritus
Department of Economics
University of Chicago
1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 834-1574

  • Social interaction effects
  • Intergenerational income mobility

Steven Durlauf is Henry T. Vilas Research Professor and Kenneth J. Arrow Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has published over 100 papers on topics ranging from economic theory to econometrics to empirical analysis to philosophy. His substantive interests include income inequality and poverty, crime, economic growth, macroeconomics, social economics, and distributive justice. Durlauf currently Co-Director of the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working group, an international consortium of researchers designed to further understanding of the determinants of human flourishing. He is currently editor of the Journal of Economic Literature and previously served as General Editor of the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, the world's most comprehensive compendium of economic knowledge. Durlauf is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has consulted for many international and national agencies, including the World Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Steven Durlauf's home page


Kathryn Edin

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor
Sociology and Public Health
Johns Hopkins University
Mergenthaler Hall 541
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
(410) 516-6261

  • Urban poverty and family life
  • Social welfare programs
  • Housing and neighborhoods
  • Father involvement
  • Family instability and complexity
  • Economic lives of the poor

Kathryn Edin's most recent book (with Paula England), Unmarried Couples with Children, is an analysis of a four-year study of 50 unmarried couples who shared a birth in 2000. Previous books include the results of a six-year ethnographic study in eight Philadelphia neighborhoods, Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage (with Maria J. Kefalas), and Making Ends Meet: How Low Income Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low Wage Work (with Laura Lein). Her next books are tentatively titled Marginal Men: The Experience of Low Wage Employment, Child Support Enforcement, and Parenthoood in the Lives of Low Income Unmarried Fathers (with Timothy Nelson and Laura Lein), and Fragile Fatherhood: What Being a Daddy Means to Low Income Unmarried Men (with Timothy Nelson). Current projects include a study nested within the interim and long-term evaluations of the "Moving to Opportunity" housing mobility experiment, an evaluation of the Gautreaux Two housing mobility program in Chicago, and "Investing in Enduring Resources with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)," a study of EITC allocation among low-income households in Boston and Central Illinois. Edin received her Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University in 1991 and has also taught at Rutgers University, Northwestern University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Edin is a member of the newly-formed MacArthur Network on Housing and Young Children.

Kathryn Edin's home page

Deborah Ehrenthal

Deborah Ehrenthal

Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families Endowed Chair and Associate Professor
Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Population Health Sciences
University of Wisconsin–Madison
1007B WARF Building
610 North Walnut Street
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 265-0559

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Services Research
  • Women's health
  • Maternal and child health

Dr. Ehrenthal's research uses a life course framework to investigate the determinants of health outcomes and health disparities of populations. She focuses on three intersecting areas of women's and children's health: perinatal outcomes, women's cardiovascular disease, and child health. The goal of her work is to expand the evidence-base needed to guide clinical and public health recommendations and policies relevant to reproductive age women and their children.

Ehrenthal studies health care delivery after pregnancy complications and investigates mechanistic pathways linking adverse pregnancy complications to women's later cardiovascular disease. In addition, she has developed novel methods to use data from electronic medical records, linked to other sources, to study health care delivery and health outcomes of women and children.

Deborah Ehrenthal's home page

Felix Elwert

Felix Elwert

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4426 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-9510

Felix Elwert is currently an associate professor of sociology at UW–Madison and a 2013–2014 Vilas Associate. He pursues intersecting research agendas in methods for causal inference from observational data and applications in social inequality and social demography. Over the past few years, his research has focused on temporal processes of severe neighborhood disadvantage and their effects on cognitive and educational outcomes. Together with a group of colleagues, he has investigated causal effects of multigenerational neighborhood disadvantage on child test scores, documenting for the first time the lingering effects of a parent's neighborhood of origin on children's cognitive outcomes (with Pat Sharkey, American Journal of Sociology, 2011). He also published a study documenting the effects of varying durations of neighborhood disadvantage on high school graduation by race, taking account of the endogeneity of duration of exposure (with Geoff Wodtke and Dave Harding, American Sociological Review, 2011). More recently, he has investigated how the effect of long-term neighborhood disadvantage varies with the timing of exposure and with family economic resources, using new methods that are appropriate for time-varying effect modification. Other ongoing projects concern (a) methods for the non-parametric detection of unmeasured confounding in prospective cohort studies of parental wealth effects, and (b) the effect of teen motherhood on later life outcomes.

Felix Elwert's home page


David N. Figlio

Dean, School of Education and Social Policy
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Human Resources
School of Education and Social Policy
Northwestern University
2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
(847) 491-8193

  • Education policy and inequality
  • Inequality and poverty
  • Consequences of antipoverty policy
  • Interactions between antipoverty policy and education

David Figlio conducts research on a wide range of educational and antipoverty policy issues from school accountability and standards to welfare policy and policy design. His current research projects involve evaluating the Florida Tax Credit Scholarships Program, the largest means-tested school-voucher program in the United States; conducting a large-scale study of school accountability in Florida, using a state census of public school principals; and following children from birth through their school career to study key questions regarding early childhood policy and inequality.

David Figlio's home page

John M. Fitzgerald

William D. Shipman Professor of Economics
Department of Economics
Bowdoin College
112 Hubbard Hall
9700 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011-8497
(207) 725-3593

  • Welfare and family structure
  • Welfare durations
  • Attrition in longitudinal surveys

John Fitzgerald's current research focuses on attrition issues in models of intergenerational links in health and income in the PSID, particularly sibling models. Other interests include the effects of welfare in the U.S. on family structure, and the employment and family structure impacts of the Working for Families program in New Zealand, earnings instability, the measurement of poverty, and the valuation of household production. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

John Fitzgerald's home page

Jason Fletcher

Associate Professor of Public Affairs, Sociology, Population Health Sciences, and Applied Economics
La Follette School of Public Affairs
University of Wisconsin–Madison
307 Observatory Hill Office Building
1225 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-6010

  • Social networks
  • Gene-environment interactions
  • Adolescent depression
  • Causal inference
  • ADHD and health behaviors
  • Obesity

Jason Fletcher's research focuses on examining social network effects on adolescent education and health outcomes, combining genetics and social science research, estimating long-term consequences of childhood mental illness, and child and adolescent mental health policy. Specific areas include adolescent depression, child and adolescent obesity, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and adolescent risky behavior choices. He is also examining the long-term health consequences of occupation choices and occupational stress.

Jason Fletcher's home page

Christopher J. Flinn

Department of Economics
New York University
19 West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012-1119
(212) 998-8925

  • Minimum wages and labor market outcomes
  • Models of household behavior
  • Investments in children

Christopher Flinn's primary research interests lie in two areas: the analysis of wage and employment dynamics, especially in the presence of binding minimum wages, and the analysis of household behavior, especially with regard to investments in and the welfare of children. His extensive research on minimum wage impacts is summarized in The Minimum Wage and Labor Market Outcomes (MIT Press, 2010). Other current research in this area examines the effect of labor market structure on the incentives to make productivity-augmenting investments by workers and firms. His research in family economics (much of it done in collaboration with Daniela Del Boca and Meta Brown) has focused on the effects of child support orders on child support transfers and the welfare of members of intact and nonintact families. In conducting empirical work on this topic, he has often utilized the Wisconsin Court Records Database, which is housed at IRP.

Christopher Flinn's home page

Elliot Friedman

William and Sally Berger Hanley Associate Professor of Gerentology
Human Development and Family Studies Department
Purdue University
249 Hanley Hall
1202 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2055
(765) 496-6378

  • Physiological regulation in middle and later life
  • Psychological well-being and health
  • Biopsychosocial integration
  • Successful aging

Friedman's research continues to focus on health-related biological processes—most notably circulating levels of inflammatory proteins—and examines the ways in which they are patterned by social factors (e.g. socioeconomic status; discrimination), psychological functioning, and behavior (e.g. sleep) interacting with one another over time. Friedman is particularly interested in aging as a biopsychosocial process and the extent to which positive psychological functioning may slow or compensate for the health effects of changes and challenges in later life.

Elliot Friedman's home page

Donna Friedsam

Director, Health Policy Programs
Distinguished Researcher, Population Health Sciences
Honorary Fellow and Principal Investigator, Covering Wisconsin
UW Population Health Institute
University of Wisconsin–Madison
760-E WARF Building
610 North Walnut Street
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 263-4881

Donna Friedsam has worked extensively on access to and financing of health care and the organization of delivery systems. She consults widely in the public and private sectors on state government programs and on reform initiatives.

Friedsam directs the health policy group at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and leads a team of faculty and researchers evaluating Wisconsin's BadgerCare Plus—a combined Medicaid/CHIP health coverage program. She also oversees the University of Wisconsin's Evidence-Based Health Policy Project.

Donna Friedsam's home page

David Frisvold

David E. Frisvold

Associate Professor
Henry B. Tippie Research Fellow
Department of Economics
Tippie College of Business
The University of Iowa
21 E. Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52242-1994
(319) 335-0957

  • Economics of education
  • Health economics
  • Labor economics
  • Public economics

David E. Frisvold is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Iowa. Professor Frisvold’s research agenda explores the role for government policies to enhance education and health outcomes, with an emphasis on policies targeted towards low-income children. His research has focused on the School Breakfast, Head Start, SNAP, and WIC programs. Prior to joining Iowa in 2013, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Emory University.

David Frisvold's home page

Jane C. Fruehwirth

Assistant Professor
Department of Economics
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
208A Gardner Hall
CB 3305
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

(919) 966-4886

  • Peer effects in education production
  • Inequality in educational outcomes
  • Discrimination

Jane Fruehwirth's research focuses on determinants of inequality, particularly how social context shapes inequality. In the education context, she has considered the effect of peers, school desegregation, grade retention, and school accountability policies on achievement gaps. Another line of research attempts to identify whether racial disparities in outcomes are a result of discrimination or other unobservable factors.

Jane Fruehwirth's home page

Chao Fu

Associate Professorw
Department of Economics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
6432 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-3886

  • Higher education
  • Crime

Chao Fu's current research focuses on the dynamics of work/crime decisions over the life cycle and the equilibrium effects of labor market policies and deterrence policies on crime. She also studies higher education from a market equilibrium perspective.

Chao Fu's home page


Markus Gangl

Professor of Sociology
Department of Social Sciences
Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
Campus Westend - PEG Gebäude, Hauspostfach 15
Theodor W. Adorno Platz 6
Frankfurt am Main 60323
49(0)69 798-36633

  • Social stratification, with a particular focus on analyses of labor markets, unemployment, poverty, and income inequality
  • The social consequences of economic inequality
  • Relationship between educational policies and educational inequality in Western societies

Markus Gangl's research interests are mainly in social stratification, with a focus on quantitative, cross-nationally comparative, and longitudinal analyses of labor markets, unemployment, poverty, and income inequality. In the past, he has worked extensively on unemployment incidence and unemployment duration in the United States and Germany, as well as on the relationship between labor market and welfare policies on longer-term scar effects of job loss in Western European countries and the United States. New work extends his focus to the social consequences of economic inequality and the relationship between educational policies and educational inequality in Western societies.

Markus Gangl's home page

Irwin Garfinkel

Mitchell I. Ginsberg Professor of Contemporary Urban Problems
Interim Dean, School of Social Work
School of Social Work
Columbia University
1255 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027-5927
(212) 851-2383

  • Child support and nonresident fathers
  • Social welfare policy
  • Income maintenance and labor supply

Irwin Garfinkel is the co-founding director of the Columbia Population Research Center. He was the director of the Institute for Research on Poverty (1975–1980) and the School of Social Work (1982–1984) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Between 1980 and 1990, he was the principal investigator of the Wisconsin child support study.

A social worker and an economist by training, he has authored or co-authored over 180 scientific articles and twelve books on poverty, income transfers, program evaluation, single parent families and child support, and the welfare state. His research on child support and welfare influenced legislation in Wisconsin and other American states, the U.S. Congress, Great Britain, Australia, and Sweden. He is currently the co-principal investigator of the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study. His most recent book is Wealth and Welfare States: Is America Laggard or Leader?, coauthored by Lee Rainwater and Timothy Smeeding.

Irwin Garfinkel's home page

Lisa A. Gennetian

Lisa A. Gennetian

Associate Research Scientist
Associate Editor, Child Development
Senior Researcher, National Bureau of Economic Research
Institute of Human Development and Social Change
New York University
246 Greene Street, Floor SE
New York, NY 10003
(917) 319-9485

  • Income security, childcare, and children's development
  • Neighborhood effects on low-income families and children
  • Parent labor-market behavior, health insurance, and children's health
  • Poverty, economic instability and quality of decision making
  • Experimental and nonexperimental approaches to estimating causality
  • Applications of behavioral economics to poverty research and programs

Dr. Gennetian's current research on the lives of income poor families and children focuses on the influence of unstable income on family and child well-being, the income and employment experiences among Hispanic households and the implications for income-poor Hispanic children, and the ways in which insights from behavioral economics can improve the design of social policies and programs. Her empirical work exploits a variety of quasi- and related experimental methodological approaches to identify causal impacts.

Gennetian also engages in many primary research studies, that often include tests of programs and policies in practice, serving as Principal Investigator on large federally funded initiatives such as the National Study of Early Care and Education; the Moving to Opportunity housing voucher and neighborhood poverty study; and, the Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency project piloting behavioral economic approaches in social programs. She is currently collaborating with social- and neuroscientists to launch an experimental study to understand the impact of unconditional cash transfers, or enhanced income, on the early brain structure and brain function of very low income infants and toddlers. Dr. Gennetian is an Associate Research Scientist at New York University's Institute for Human Development and Social Change, and held previous positions at ideas42, an applied behavioral economics social impact laboratory; The Brookings Institution; and, MDRC, a nonprofit social and education policy evaluation firm.

Lisa Gennetian's home page

Donna Ginther

Professor of Economics
Director, Center for Science Technology & Economic Policy
University of Kansas
333 Snow Hall
1460 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045-7585
(785) 864-3251

  • Labor economics
  • Gender differences in academic employment outcomes
  • Economics of children and families
  • Effect of family structure on children's educational outcomes
  • Effect of legal marriage on child and adult socioeconomic outcomes in Sweden

Donna Ginther is a Wisconsin-trained economist with a longstanding interest in issues related to economic inequality. Her interdisciplinary research has focused on academic labor markets, science, and innovation; the effect of family structure on children's socioeconomic outcomes; and macro-labor topics including wage inequality and unemployment. Her varied research interests are united by the general theme of understanding how inequality in the labor market is generated and manifested in differences in labor market success measured by education, pay, and promotion.

Current work includes serving as one of the principal researchers organizing the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium (KC-AERC information available at: KC-AERC links researchers from four universities (University of Kansas, Kansas State University, University of Missouri, and University of Missouri-Kansas City) with 32 school districts in two states in order to use research to inform education policy. As an education research consortium, KC-AERC is unique in focusing on multiple school districts in two states with different education challenges.

Donna Ginther's home page

Joseph E. Glass

Joe Glass

Assistant Scientific Investigator
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
1730 Minor Avenue, Suite 1600
Seattle, WA 98101-1466
(206) 287-4266

  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Psychiatric comorbidity
  • Help seeking
  • Health services
  • Stigma

Joe Glass's research focuses on psychological and structural barriers that interfere with individuals' problem recognition, perceived need for treatment, and help seeking for alcohol problems. His current research attempts to disentangle the mechanisms through which the stigma associated with alcohol use disorders interferes with help seeking and recovery. His research considers the interplay between alcohol, drug, and psychiatric comorbidity, and barriers to the receipt of appropriate treatment services. He uses advanced statistical approaches to analyze a number of large datasets, including linkages of survey and medical record data. Ultimately, this research aims to better understand how to increase the number of persons who receive treatment for and recover from their substance use problems, as well as to ensure equity in the receipt of quality treatment across majority and minority populations (particularly racial and ethnic minorities, veterans, and those living in poverty).

Joe Glass's home page

Alice Goffman

Alice Goffman

Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
3456 Sewell Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-1612

Alice Goffman is an urban sociologist who attended graduate school at Princeton. Drawing on six years of in-depth fieldwork in Philadelphia, her dissertation entitled "On the Run" describes young men living as suspects and fugitives in a black neighborhood transformed by the war on drugs and unprecedented levels of targeted imprisonment. In 2011 it won the Best Dissertation Award from the American Sociological Association. In 2010 she moved to Detroit as a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar, where she spent two years living with the city's Haves and Have-Nots. On the Run is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.

Alice Goffman's home page

Sara Goldrick-Rab

Professor of Higher Education Policy and Sociology
Higher Education Policy, Organizational, & Leadership Studies
Founder, Wisconsin HOPE Lab
Temple University
419 Ritter Annex
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 204-1740

  • Policies affecting college access and persistence for disadvantaged populations
  • Workforce development
  • Community colleges and career pathways

Sara Goldrick-Rab is one of the nation's most prominent scholars of inequality in postsecondary education. She conducts an original and ambitious program of research on pathways to college, need-based financial aid, accountability, and college transfer. Goldrick-Rab currently holds the William T. Grant Scholars Award for her project "Rethinking College Choice in America" and is a past recipient of a Spencer Foundation/National Academy of Education postdoctoral fellowship. Since 2008, she has served as principal investigator of the Wisconsin Scholars Longitudinal Study, an experimental study of financial aid that has received more than $3 million in support, operates at 42 different colleges, and includes a staff of more than a dozen researchers and assistants. Goldrick-Rab publishes widely in both academic journals and policy venues, and is a regular speaker and commentator for The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Brookings Institution, and the American Enterprise Institute.

Sara Goldrick-Rab's home page

Roberto G. Gonzales

Roberto G. Gonzales

Assistant Professor
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Washington, Department of Sociology
Graduate School of Education
Harvard University
6 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 496-1013

  • Immigrant incorporation
  • Unauthorized migration
  • Urban and social policy
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Transition to adulthood
  • Education

Roberto G. Gonzales is Assistant Professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. His research focuses on the factors that promote and impede the educational progress of immigrant and Latino students. Over the last decade and a half Professor Gonzales has been engaged in critical inquiry around the important question of what happens to undocumented immigrant children as they make transitions to adolescence and young adulthood. Since 2002 he has carried out what is arguably the most comprehensive study of undocumented immigrants in the United States. His book, Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America (University of California Press), is based on an in-depth study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles for twelve years. In addition, Professor Gonzales' National UnDACAmented Research Project has surveyed nearly 2,700 undocumented young adults and has carried out 500 in-depth interviews on their experiences following President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. His work has been has been featured in top social science journals, including the American Sociological Review, Current Anthropology, and the Harvard Educational Review as well as in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, U.S. News & World Report, and Chronicle of Higher Education. Professor Gonzales was recently awarded the American Sociological Association Award for Public Sociology in International Migration and the AERA Scholars of Color Early Career Award.

Roberto G. Gonzales's home page

Bridget J. Goosby

Bridget J. Goosby

Happold Associate Professor
Director, LifeHD Research Lab
Graduate Chair, Department of Sociology
Department of Sociology
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
741 Oldfather Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0324
(402) 613-7512

  • Stress physiology and chronic disease risk
  • Consequences of racial discrimination and social exclusion for health inequities
  • Life course and intergenerational transmission of health disparities

Dr. Bridget Goosby is the Happold Associated Professor of Sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and co-Director of the Health Disparities in Every Day Life (LifeHD) Lab. Dr. Goosby's primary research interest examines the how the of stress of social inequality and discrimination 'get under the skin' to shape minority group members' health over the life course and across generations. In particular, her work explores the processes through which human physiological stress reactivity intersects with social conditions to regulate the risk of experiencing chronic metabolic and cardiovascular health conditions. Her work also increasingly integrates innovative minimally invasive technologies for measuring stress activation and disease risks. Dr. Goosby's work has been support by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and appeared in venues including Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Health and Place, and American Journal of Human Biology.

Bridget J.Goosby's home page

Linda Gordon

Florence Kelley Professor of History
University Professor of the Humanities
Department of History
New York University
King Juan Carlos Center, Room 606
53 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-8627

  • History of the welfare state
  • Family violence
  • Single motherhood
  • Abortion and birth control
  • Internal colonialism
  • Mexican American history

Linda Gordon's home page

Peter Gottschalk

Research Professor Emeritus
Department of Economics
Boston College

  • Trends in poverty
  • Trends in earnings inequality
  • Welfare duration
  • Welfare participation across generations

Peter Gottschalk's poverty-related research has focused on three issues: (1) Changes in earnings inequality and poverty—this work (joint with Sheldon Danziger) examines changes in earnings and family income inequality in the United States and in other industrialized countries. (2) Work dynamics among low-wage workers—recent research (joint with Helen Connolly) on work dynamics has focused on earnings growth while on a job and between jobs. (3) Data quality—one branch of this work (joint with Minh Huynh) examines the reliability of SIPP earnings data; another branch develops a technique for identifying and eliminating measurement error.

Peter Gottschalk's home page

Gary Paul Green

Department of Community & Environmental Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
346D Agricultural Hall
1450 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-2710

  • Job training
  • Regional development

Gary Green's research and teaching focus primarily on community and economic development. He is currently involved in two projects related to poverty and low-income workers. The first project examines the role of employers, community colleges, and community-based organizations in providing job training in rural areas. He is especially interested in the constraints that employers face in providing general training and the effectiveness of community-based organizations in overcoming these obstacles. Second, he is examining the relationship between amenities and development in rural areas. He is interested in understanding the effects of amenity-led development on poverty and income inequality in these regions and the effectiveness of local strategies to balance the preservation of amenities and the promotion of growth.

Gary Green's home page

David H.Greenberg

Professor Emeritus
Department of Economics
University of Maryland Baltimore County
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250-0002
(410) 884-9620

  • Evaluation and cost-benefit analysis of welfare, employment and training programs
  • Social experimentation and public policy
  • Labor supply and welfare reform

Much of David Greenberg's research focuses on the evaluation of government programs that are targeted at the low-income population, especially public assistance, employment, and training programs. He has coauthored a textbook on cost-benefit analysis, a technique that can be used to help assess the effectiveness of government programs, Cost-Benefit Analysis: Concepts and Practice. He has coauthored the Digest of Social Experiments (Urban Institute Press), a reference book that provides summary information on all previous and ongoing social experiments. He is co-editor of the Randomized Social Experiments Abstract, which is published weekly by the Social Science Research Network.

David Greenberg's home page

Jan Steven Greenberg

Jan Steven Greenberg

Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education
School of Social Work
University of Wisconsin–Madison
1350 University Avenue, Rm. 321
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-4813

Jan Greenberg has been investigating the challenges faced by families of persons with severe and persistent mental illness over the past decade. His research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health since the early 1990s. With this support, he has conducted three major studies of families coping with mental illness. In a survey of over 1000 Wisconsin families caring for a relative with a severe and persistent mental illness, he documented the importance of professionals involving family members as collaborators in the treatment process.

The second study, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Marsha Mailick (UW–Madison) and Dr. Marty Krauss (Brandeis University), has been to investigate differences in the mental health of aging parents caring for an adult child with mental illness and of those caring for an adult child with developmental disabilities. They found that parents caring for a child with mental illness experienced elevated levels of depression and caregiver burden, and greater pessimism about their child's future care than parents caring for an adult son or daughter with mental retardation.

Jan Greenberg's home page

Jesse M. Gregory

Jesse Gregory

Assistant Professor
Department of Economics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
6458 Sewell Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 890-4913

  • Labor economics
  • Local labor markets
  • Place-based policies

Jesse Gregory's research focuses on the effects of spatially targeted government policies on local labor market outcomes and individuals' location choices. His current research studies the equilibrium effects of spatially targeted business subsidies and the effects of post-Hurricane Katrina disaster relief programs on New Orleans homeowners' rebuilding and resettlement choices.

Jesse Gregory's home page

Eric S. Grodsky

Eric Grodsky

Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4454 Sewell Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-4896

  • Education
  • Social stratification
  • Methods and statistics

Eric Grodsky's core substantive research is on social stratification in patterns of postsecondary education attendance and persistence. He has also written on the effects of high school exit exam policies on academic achievement and labor market returns and on the contexts in which adolescent sex contributes to adverse educational outcomes. His work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Problems and Sociology of Education, among other venues and has garnered support from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes for Health, and the U.S. Department of Education.

Eric Grodsky's home page

David B. Grusky

Barbara Kimball Browning Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences
Director, Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality
Stanford University
Building 80
450 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 724-6912

  • Social class
  • Children's take-up of private and public health insurance, and movements between private, public and no-insurance coverage for children
  • Gender inequality

David Grusky is coeditor of Pathways Magazine, and coeditor of the Stanford University Press Social Inequality Series. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, recipient of the 2004 Max Weber Award, founder of the Cornell University Center for the Study of Inequality, and a former Presidential Young Investigator. His research takes on such questions as whether and why gender, racial, and class-based inequalities are growing stronger and how such differences are best measured. His recent and forthcoming books are Social Stratification (2008), Poverty and Inequality (2006), Mobility and Inequality (2006), Occupational Ghettos (2004), The Declining Significance of Gender? (2006), Inequality: Classic Readings in Race, Class, and Gender (2006), The Inequality Reader: Contemporary and Foundational Readings in Race, Class, and Gender (2011), The Inequality Puzzle (2010), Controversies About Inequality (forthcoming), and The Great Recession (forthcoming).

David Grusky's home page


Steven J. Haider

Professor of Economics
Director, Graduate Studies
Michigan State University
Marshall-Adams Hall, Room 210C
486 West Circle Drive
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 355-1860

  • Public assistance programs for the poor (particularly welfare, food stamps and public housing)
  • The retirement, working, and saving behavior of the elderly
  • Labor supply and income inequality
  • Infant health and health disparities

Steven Haider is a professor in the Department of Economics at Michigan State University and previously was an associate economist at RAND. His research interests fall broadly within the fields of labor and health economics, with past publications focusing on issues related to the effect of social programs aimed at the poor, nutrition policy, poverty, the labor market, and observational methods. Haider's current research projects are largely related to two topics. The first set of projects continue his work on understanding disparities in child health in the United States, including the role of the decision to vaccinate children. The second set of projects examine the role of parental support and parental income for the college attendance decision of young adults.

Haider's research has been supported by the National Institute Aging, the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, United States Department of Agriculture, the Social Security Administration, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services/Office for the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

Steven Haider's home page

Anna Haley-Lock

Associate Professor
School of Social Work
Rutgers University
536 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(848) 932-5383

  • Lower-wage and lower-skill employment
  • Distribution of opportunity and inequality in the workplace
  • Program and human resource management
  • Nonprofit human services sector
  • Organizational theory and behavior

Anna Haley-Lock's research uses theories of organizational structure and behavior to study the distribution of workplace opportunities for compensation, skill development, mobility, and work-life balance. Her interests are in investigating factors that shape employers' choices about designing and rewarding work; as well as the impacts of these choices on organizational performance, workforce stability and diversity, and family and community well-being. She utilizes a range of quantitative and qualitative methods in her research, and draws on perspectives from sociology, economics, and business for framing. She has been particularly focused on lower-wage and -skill jobs within both for-profit and nonprofit employment settings.

Anna Haley-Lock's home page

Sarah Halpern-Meekin

Sarah Halpern-Meekin

Associate Professor
Department of Human Devopment and Family Studies
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4107 Nancy Nicholas Hall
1300 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-4691

  • Family, childhood and adolescence
  • Social policy/welfare state
  • Class and inequality
  • Qualitative methods

Sarah Halpern-Meekin is a sociologist whose research focuses on family, adolescence, social policy and the welfare state, class and inequality, and qualitative methods. Her recent research focuses on the Earned Income Tax Credit and the financial lives of working families; government-funded relationship education for high school students and for unmarried parents; on-again/off-again dating and cohabiting relationships; and the accuracy of couples' retrospective accounts of their romantic relationships.

Sarah Halpern-Meekin's home page

John C. Ham

Professor of Economics and Provost's Chair
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Department of Economics
National University of Singapore
AS2 #06-02
Singapore 117570
(65) 8323 1085

  • The duration of employment and non-employment of disadvantaged women, and how they are affected by manpower training programs
  • Children's take-up of private and public health insurance, and movements between private, public, and no-insurance coverage for children
  • Methods of evaluating take-up of social programs such as Medicaid to non-marginal expansions in the programs
  • Transfers from adult children to elderly parents in developing countries
  • Evaluation of medical interventions in a quasi-experimental setting
  • Using matching to address attrition in randomized social experiments

John Ham's research is in the areas of labor economics, public economics, health economics, and econometrics. He has looked at the effect of being offered, and actually participating in, different Manpower Training programs such as NSW and JTPA on the duration of employment and nonemployment of disadvantaged women. He has also addressed issues that come up in the policy evaluation of labor market programs using duration models. Ham has examined static and dynamic linear regression models of children's health insurance take-up across private and public health insurance resulting from expansions in public coverage such as SCHIP.

Current research includes: (i) an examination of the addictive nature of bulimia nervosa among young women; (ii) examining the incidence and treatment of bulimia nervosa across race and income classes; (iii) a quasi-experimental evaluation of the Kids 'n' Fitness program implemented in four California schools (which involves both primary schoolchildren and their parents in nutrition counseling and the children in a regular exercise program); (iv) the employment dynamics of the mothers, and the health insurance status of the mothers and their children, post-welfare reform; and (v) analyzing transfers to/from adult children to their elderly parents (and vice-versa) in South Korea; and (vi) doing policy analysis under conditions of 'weak identification.'

John Ham's home page

Joel F. Handler

Richard C. Maxwell Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus
School of Public Policy and Social Research
School of Law
University of California, Los Angeles
1242 Law Building
385 Charles E. Young Drive, Box 951476
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
(310) 825-1746

  • Economics
  • Ethnic communities–African American
  • Politics
  • Poverty
  • Welfare

Professor Handler's principal areas of research are poverty issues in law and administration, the structure and operation of welfare programs, client-agency relationships, and welfare reform. While on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin Law School, he was a senior researcher at IRP and chaired the Governor's Task Force for the Reform of General Relief. He is past president of the Law and Society Association.

A Guggenheim Fellow and former member of the National Academy of Science's Committee on the Status of Black America, he also served as chair of the Academy's Panel on High Risk Youth. Lately, he has been working on the symbolic politics of welfare reform, from a historical perspective as well as dealing with current welfare reform proposals. He also has explored client-agency relationships in the areas of education, health care, worker safety, local government, and low-income housing.

Joel Handler's home page

Eric A. Hanushek

Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow
Hoover Institution
Stanford University
HHMB Room 151
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6010
(650) 736-0942

  • Impacts of teacher quality
  • High stakes accountability
  • Class size reduction on achievement and the role of cognitive skills in international growth and development

Eric Hanushek has been a leader in the development of economic analysis of educational issues, and his work on efficiency, resource usage, and economic outcomes of schools has frequently entered into the design of both national and international education policy. His research spans such diverse areas as the impacts of teacher quality, high stakes accountability, and class size reduction on achievement, and the role of cognitive skills in international growth and development. His analysis measuring teacher quality through student achievement forms the basis for current research into the value-added of teachers and schools. His newest book, Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses: Solving the Funding-Achievement Puzzle in America's Public Schools, describes how improved school finance policies can be used to meet our achievement goals.

Eric Hanushek's home page

Alexes Harris

Alexes Harris

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
University of Washington
Savery Hall 276, Box 353340
Seattle, WA 98195-3340
(206) 685-4763

  • Deviance and social control
  • Juvenile justice
  • Qualitative methods
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Social stratification/inequality

Alexes Harris is a sociologist who uses a mixed-method approach to study institutional decision-making. Her research interests focus on social stratification processes and racial and ethnic disparities. She investigates how contact with varying institutions (educational, juvenile and criminal justice and economic) impact individuals' life chances. Frequently, Harris's work combines data types in order to illustrate both the macro context of the problem at hand, and at the same time investigate the micro processes leading to outcomes. Using participant observation, interview, and statistical methods, her work has investigated how institutional actors assess, label, and process individuals and groups, and how those processed respond. Dr. Harris' research has been published in a number of academic journals, including The American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Law and Society Review and Symbolic Interaction. Her book, A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as Punishment for the Poor was published by the Russell Sage Foundation in June of 2016.

Alexes Harris's home page

Douglas N. Harris

Professor of Economics
Schleider Foundation Chair in Public Education
Director, Education Research Alliance for New Orleans
Department of Economics
Tulane University
302 Tilton Hall
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 862-8352

  • Teacher evaluation and teacher labor markets
  • Academic achievement gaps between racial and income groups
  • Desegregation, accountability, and other policies affecting educational inequality
  • Educational influence of school and non-school resources

Douglas Harris is an economist whose poverty-related research focuses on how educational policies influence educational inequality. His most recent work focuses on how student learning is influenced by policies such as racial desegregation, school finance, accountability, standards, and school choice. He is also engaged in various projects involving how teachers influence student learning, including the influence of teacher evaluation, preparation, experience, and National Board Certification. He is author of the recent book Value-Added Measures in Education (Harvard Education Press, 2011; foreword by Randi Weingarten).

Douglas Harris's home page

Robert M. Hauser

Vilas Research Professor of Sociology, Emeritus
Samuel A. Stouffer Professor of Sociology, Emeritus
Corresponding Research Fellow, Institute for European and American Studies, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
2450 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-2182

  • Socioeconomic achievement across the life course
  • Educational and social mobility across generations
  • Aging and inequality in health and well-being
  • Measurement, causes, and consequences of cognitive functioning
  • Poverty measurement
  • Federal statistical system

Robert M. Hauser was Director of IRP from 1991 to 1994 and director of the Center for Demography of Health and Aging from 1998 to 2010. He is principal investigator of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, a long-term survey of a cohort of 10,000 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957. The WLS began as a study of the transition from high school to college or the workforce. It has become a multidisciplinary study of the life course and aging. A new wave of WLS surveys was conducted in 2003–2004. In recent years, Hauser has combined work on the WLS with studies of trends and differentials in educational attainment and of the role of achievement testing in American society.

Robert Hauser's home page

Robert H. Haveman

Professor Emeritus of Public Affairs and Economics
Adjunct Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
La Follette School of Public Affairs and Department of Economics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
7325 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-4585

  • Determinants of living arrangements of young adults
  • Trends in the level and use of human capital
  • Effects of BadgerCare on health insurance coverage and labor market performance
  • The adequacy of savings among retired and disabled workers

Robert Haveman is also Adjunct Professor of Economics at Australian National University. He has published widely in the fields of public finance, the economics of environmental and natural resources policy, benefit-cost analysis, and the economics of poverty and social policy. Recent publications include Succeeding Generations: On the Effects of Investments in Children (with Barbara Wolfe) Russell Sage Foundation, 1994, and Human Capital in the United States from 1975 to 2000: Patterns of Growth and Utilization (with Andrew Bershadker and Jonathan A. Schwabish) Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2003. Current projects include estimating the adequacy of savings of older workers at and during retirement, evaluating the impacts of the Section 8 housing voucher program, and assessing cross-national patterns of social mobility. He is an award-winning teacher, who continues to teach at the La Follette School, of which he was director from 1988 to 1991. He was director of the Institute for Research on Poverty from 1971 to 1975, and Chair of the Department of Economics from 1993 to 1996.

Haveman has served as senior economist, Subcommittee on Economy in Government, Joint Economic Committee, U.S. Congress. He was a fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation in 1991–1992, research associate at Resources for the Future in 1964–1965 and 1969–1970, Fulbright Siena Professor in 2003, and Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study in 1975–1976, 1996–1997, 1996–1997, and 2007. His work has appeared in the American Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Quarterly Journal of Economics, and Journal of the American Statistical Association.

He received his doctorate in economics from Vanderbilt University.

Robert Haveman's home page

Carolyn Heinrich

Professor of Public Policy, Education, and Economics
Director, International Education Policy and Management Program
Research Professor, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
Departments of Leadership, Policy and Organizations, and Economics
Vanderbilt University
202 Payne Hall, PMB 414
230 Appleton Place
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 322-1169

  • Labor policy and welfare-to-work
  • Social program evaluation
  • Policy impacts on families

Carolyn Heinrich's research focuses on social welfare policy, public management and performance management, and econometric methods for social-program evaluation. She works directly in her research with governments at all levels, including with the federal government on evaluations of workforce development programs, with states on their social welfare and child support programs, school districts in the evaluation of supplemental educational services and other educational interventions, and governments such as Brazil and South Africa on their social and human capital development programs. Other ongoing projects involve the study of labor market intermediaries and labor market outcomes for low-skilled and disadvantaged workers, health-care reform provisions, policy factors that support effective provision of substance abuse treatment services, and conditional cash transfers and related poverty-reduction interventions. In 2004, she received the David N. Kershaw Award for distinguished contributions to the field of public policy analysis and management by a person under the age of 40.

Carolyn Heinrich's home page

Julia R. Henly

Associate Professor
School of Social Service Administration
University of Chicago
969 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637-2640
(773) 834-1214

  • Intersection of employment, parenting, child care and public policy
  • Work-family management strategies of low-income populations

Julia Henly is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Service Administration. She is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy, University of Chicago, and a research affiliate of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the intersection of employment, parenting, child care and public policy with particular attention to the work-family management strategies of low-income populations. Henly is the Principal Investigator of a child care partnership (together with co-PIs Amy Claessens, University of Chicago and Ajay Chaudry, Urban Institute) with the states of Illinois and New York on a project examining employment and program determinants of child care subsidy stability and child care arrangement continuity, funded by US DHHS Administration for Children and Families. This project explores child care subsidy dynamics and their implications for care continuity through a longitudinal analysis of administrative program records linked to survey data collected from a survey of current and former subsidy recipients, and a qualitative interview study targeted at underrepresented sub-groups of subsidy users. Henly is also a Co-Principal Investigator (with S. Lambert) of the Work Scheduling Study (WSS), a study of scheduling practices in the retail industry. Using corporate administrative, payroll, and scheduling data, together with survey data from store employees and managers, WSS aims to understand how management practices around scheduling contribute to key employment outcomes and the implications of hour scarcity and schedule stability and predictability on worker stress and well-being. As part of WSS, Henly and Lambert are conducting the Scheduling Intervention Study, a randomized experimental study targeted at making work more predictable and flexible for workers, with the goal of reducing work-family conflict and improving key outcomes in the areas of child care, parenting practices, and parental stress and well-being.

In addition, Henly has investigated parental child care decision-making and child care search strategies, drawing from interview data with low-wage retail workers. From the perspective of child care providers, this study also considers the demands that parents' jobs place on child care providers and the responses of providers (across child care sectors) to irregular and unpredictable parental work schedules. In other work, Henly has used longitudinal survey data of low-income mothers to investigate questions related to the contribution of public assistance and informal social support for family well-being.

Henly's work has appeared in several peer-reviewed journals, such as Journal of Urban Affairs, Journal of Marriage and Family, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Social Work Research, Children and Youth Services Review, and Journal of Social Issues, as well as several edited book volumes.

Julia Henly's home page

Pamela Herd

La Follette School of Public Affairs
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4462 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-9451

  • Old age policy
  • Health
  • Gender, race, and class inequality

Pamela Herd's research is in the areas of the welfare state and health. Her research on the welfare state focuses on how social policies shape gender, race, and class inequality. Her research on health explores how social factors, particularly socioeconomic status, shape disease processes, physical functioning, and mortality.

Pamela Herd's home page

Jennifer L. Hochschild

Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government
African and African American Studies
Harvard University
CGIS Knafel Building K412
1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 496-0181

  • Inequality and poverty
  • Relationships among race, ethnicity, immigration, and well-being
  • Role of education in poverty and inequality

With two co-authors, Hochschild has recently completed a book manuscript on "Transforming the American Racial Order: Immigration, Multiracialism, DNA, and Cohort Change." She is also working on the politics and ideology of genomic science, immigrant political incorporation, citizens' use of factual information in political decision-making, and the meaning of perceptions of "linked fate." Most if not all of this work is motivated by concern about poverty and inequality, especially among minority groups and immigrants.

Jennifer Hochschild's home page

John Hoffmire

Director, Center on Business and Poverty
Director, Impact Bond Fund
Said Business School
University of Oxford
Executive Education Centre
Egrove Park
Oxford OX1 5NY UK
44(0)1865 288800

Before starting the Center on Business and Poverty in 2004, John Hoffmire had a twenty-year career in equity investing, venture capital, consulting and investment banking. His work has had a particular focus on employee stock ownership plans. As founder and CEO of his own investment banking firm, he helped employees buy and manage approximately $2.2 billion worth of ESOP stock. He sold his firm to American Capital, which then went public. John left American Capital as Senior Investment Officer when the company reached $1 billion in assets. After leaving American Capital, John was vice president at Ampersand Ventures, formerly Paine Webber's private equity group. Earlier in his career, after he finished his Ph.D. at Stanford University, he was a consultant at Bain & Company. John is also Chairman of Progress Through Business, an organization that he founded with others interested in economic development tools that can used by companies to assist low-income individuals and communities.

John Hoffmire's home page

Karen Holden

Professor Emerita
La Follette School of Public Affairs
Department of Consumer Science
Center for Financial Security
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4273 Nancy Nicholas Hall
1300 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 669-3600

  • Economic status of the elderly
  • Financial literacy
  • Women, pensions, and social security
  • Program evaluation

Karen Holden is currently co-PI of the Social Security Administration's grant to the Center for Financial Security, one of three National Centers in SSA's Financial Literacy Research Consortium. The major theme of her work is on how social security and employer-provided pensions influence retirement timing and well-being after retirement and widowhood. Her current research, some funded by the SSA award, is on early life cognition and course work on later life financial knowledge and well-being, differentials between men and women in voluntary retirement savings contributions, the influence of late life events on financial well-being, and children's understanding of financial concepts.

Karen Holden's home page

Robinson G. Hollister, Jr.

Joseph Wharton Professor of Economics
Department of Economics
Swarthmore College
Kohlberg 203
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1306
(610) 328-8105

  • Evaluation methodology
  • Employment and training programs
  • Labor market policy

Robinson Hollister has an extensive record in poverty-related research: he served on the staff of the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity when the Institute for Research on Poverty was established in 1966, and was in residence at the Institute from 1967 to 1970 working on the income maintenance experiments. His present research interests include analysis of the potential for earnings subsidies, community economic development, particularly community development financial institutions, and the evaluation of welfare reform.

Robinson Hollister, Jr.'s home page

Harry J. Holzer

John LaFarge Jr. SJ Professor of Public Policy
McCourt School of Public Policy
Georgetown University
401 Old North
37 and O Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 687-1458

  • Low-income workers and job availability
  • Minority youth unemployment
  • Employer wage-setting and hiring behavior

Harry J. Holzer is an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC and a Senior Affiliate of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan. He is a former Chief Economist for the U.S. Department of Labor and a former Professor of Economics at Michigan State University. He received his A.B. from Harvard in 1978 and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 1983. He is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and a member of the editorial board at the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Holzer's research has focused primarily on the labor market problems of low-wage workers and other disadvantaged groups. His books include: The Black Youth Employment Crisis (coedited with Richard Freeman), University of Chicago Press, 1986; What Employers Want: Job Prospects for Less-Educated Workers (Russell Sage Foundation, 1996); Moving Up or Moving On: Who Advances in the Low-Wage Labor Market (with Fredrik Andersson and Julia Lane), Russell Sage Foundation, 2005; Reconnecting Disadvantaged Young Men (with Peter Edelman and Paul Offner), Urban Institute Press, 2006; Reshaping the American Workforce in a Changing Economy (coedited with Demetra Nightingale), Urban Institute Press, 2007; and Where are All the Good Jobs Going? What National and Local Job Quality and Dynamics Mean for U.S. Workers (with Julia Lane, David Rosenblum and Fredrik Andersson), Russell Sage Foundation, 2010.

Harry Holzer's home page

V. Joseph Hotz

Arts and Sciences Professor of Economics
Department of Economics
Duke University
243 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0097
(919) 660-1841

  • Labor economics
  • Economic demography
  • Evaluation of the impact of social programs
  • Applied econometrics

V. Joseph Hotz earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1980. Prior to joining Duke in 2007, Professor Hotz held faculty positions at Carnegie Mellon University, University of Chicago, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He specializes in the areas of labor economics, economics of the family, economic demography, applied econometrics, and evaluating the impact of social programs. His more recent work has focused on game-theoretic models of relationships between parents and children; the effects of child care regulations on the choices of parents; the economics of amniocentesis choice; the employment and wage prospects of black, white, and Hispanic women in the United States; the consequences of teenage childbearing in the United States; and the impacts of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs on low-income populations in California.

V. Joseph Hotz's home page

Jason Houle

Jason Houle

Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
Dartmouth College
6104 Silsby Hall, Room 104
Hanover, NH 03755
(603) 646-3524

  • Mental health
  • Health disparities
  • Social stratification and mobility
  • Life course
  • Debt

Jason Houle is a sociologist and demographer whose research revolves around three core interests interested in social disparities in mental health and well-being, processes of social stratification and mobility, and life course sociology. Jason's recent work has been motivated by his interests in sociological understandings of social stratification and mobility and the rise in credit availability to American consumers, to young adults in particular. His current projects in this area examine how indebtedness in young adulthood has changed over the latter half of the 20th century, and how debt in young adulthood is implicated in the process of status attainment and social mobility. In an era of rising inequality and rising debt levels, he is especially interested in how debt may serve to reproduce and exacerbate existing socioeconomic inequalities across generations.

Jason Houle's home page

Hilary Hoynes

Professor of Public Policy and Economics
Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities
Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy
University of California, Berkeley
345 GSPP Addition
2607 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
(510) 642-1166

  • Analysis of administrative data on welfare, earnings, and health care
  • Welfare benefits, marriage, and fertility decisions

Hoynes specializes in the study of tax and transfer programs for poor families. Her work looks at the effects of various tax and transfer programs on labor supply, family formation, poverty, and inequality. She has written numerous papers about impacts of the U.S. cash welfare program (formerly Aid to Families with Dependent Children, now Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). She is also an expert on the effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit and made a presentation on the EITC to President Bush's Advisory Panel on Tax Reform. This work has been published in many prestigious journals such as the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Review of Economics and Statistics and the Journal of Public Economics.

Hilary Hoynes's home page


Julia Isaacs

Visiting Scholar, Institute for Research on Poverty
Senior Fellow, Urban Institute
University of Wisconsin–Madison
6239 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 261-1859 or (202) 261-5398 or

  • Economic mobility
  • Child poverty
  • Poverty measurement
  • Federal programs serving low-income populations

Julia Isaacs is an Urban Institute Senior Fellow iin residence at IRP. Her most recent projects include a microsimulation model of social mobility from early childhood to adulthood with Isabel Sawhill, a paper that examines family income and maternal education as predictors of children's school readiness with Katherine Magnuson, and a project with researchers at the Urban Institute to analyze how much of the federal budget is spent on low-income children. Additionally, through the Wisconsin Poverty Report, Isaacs has continued her work on the development of alternate and more accurate poverty measures.

Julia Isaacs's home page


Philip N. Jefferson

Centennial Professorand Endowed Chair of Economics
Department of Economics
Swarthmore College
Kohlberg 209
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081
(610) 690-6856

  • Business cycles and poverty incidence
  • Education and labor market status
  • Dynamics of economic inequality

Philip Jefferson's research on poverty and economic inequality examines the impact of macroeconomic performance on disparate economic groups (by educational attainment or by the personal/family distribution of income or by race or by the functional distribution of income). His research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation. He is the editor of and a contributor to The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Philip N. Jefferson's home page

Christopher Jencks

Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy, Emeritus
Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy
Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard University
Mailbox 104
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-0546

Christopher Jencks's recent research deals with changes in family structure over the past generation, the costs and benefits of economic inequality, the extent to which economic advantages are inherited, and the effects of welfare reform. His books include The Academic Revolution (with David Riesman); Inequality: Who Gets Ahead?; The Urban Underclass (with Paul Peterson); Rethinking Social Policy; The Homeless; and The Black White Test Score Gap (with Meredith Phillips).

Christopher Jencks's home page

Rucker C. Johnson

Associate Professor
Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy
University of California, Berkeley
2607 Hearst Avenue, Mail Code 7320
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
(510) 643-0169

Rucker Johnson's work focuses on the economics of disadvantage and is organized around three broad themes. The first concerns the extent to which residential segregation patterns (by race and income) contribute to economic and racial differences in employment outcomes, wealth accumulation, and health outcomes. The second seeks to identify sources of current health disparities. The third is a separate line of research in which he investigates the effects of the welfare policy reforms of the 1990s using broader measures of well-being, beyond earnings and caseload declines, to examine effects of job transition patterns on housing and neighborhood quality and child well-being.

Johnson is studying the intersection of labor markets, spatial features of the urban economy, and socioeconomic determinants of health and health disparities over the life cycle. The emphasis on issues of poverty and inequality is the common thread of this research. His research in labor economics has focused on the less-skilled labor market; his research in urban economics has been concerned with the concentration of the poor and its effects on the structure of opportunity; and his research in health centers on understanding underlying processes that produce health disparities over the life course. The intersection of these themes provides a rich set of research questions with significant policy relevance.

Rucker Johnson's home page


Thomas Kaplan

Senior Scientist Emeritus
Institute for Research on Poverty
University of Wisconsin–Madison
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706

  • Implementation research
  • Evaluation research
  • Wisconsin welfare and health care reforms

Tom Kaplan's research interests are in welfare reform and child support policy and evaluation, with special emphasis on program management and Wisconsin state government programs, and the history of health and social welfare programs.

Lynn A. Karoly

Senior Economist and Professor
President, Society of Benefit-Cost Analysis
Pardee RAND Graduate School
RAND Corporation
1200 South Hayes Street
Arlington, VA 22202-5050
(703) 413-1100, 5359

Lynn Karoly's recent research has focused on human capital investments, social welfare policy, child and family well-being, and U.S. labor markets. In the area of child policy, she recently completed a multifaceted study of preschool education in California, documented in a series of reports and a monograph. Related research has examined the economics of investing in universal preschool in California, the costs and benefits of early childhood programs, and the use of benefit-cost analysis more generally to evaluate social programs. Other recent research has focused on the labor market impacts of Hurricane Katrina; self-employment and retirement patterns among older workers; the effects of welfare reform policies of the 1990s on family and child well-being; the future of the workforce and workplace in the United States; and human capital, labor market, and demographic policies in the Middle East.

Lynn Karoly's home page

Lawrence F. Katz

Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics
Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
Co-Scientific Director and Co-Founder, J-PAL North America
Department of Economics
Harvard University
Littauer Center 224
1805 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-5148

  • Labor economics
  • Economics of social problems
  • Evaluation of the Moving to Opportunity program

Lawrence Katz's research focuses on issues in labor economics and the economics of social problems. He is the author (with Claudia Goldin) of The Race between Education and Technology (Harvard University Press, 2008), a history of U.S. economic inequality and the roles of technological change and the pace of educational advance in affecting the wage structure. Katz also has been studying the impacts of neighborhood poverty on low-income families as the principal investigator of the long-term evaluation of the Moving to Opportunity program, a randomized housing mobility experiment. His past research has explored a wide range of topics including the United States and comparative wage inequality trends; the impact of globalization and technological change on the labor market; the economics of immigration, unemployment, regional labor markets; the evaluation of labor market programs; the problems of low-income neighborhoods; and the social and economic consequences of the birth control pill.

Lawrence Katz's home page

J. Paul Kelleher

J. Paul Kelleher

Associate Professor
Department of Medical History and Bioethics and Department of Philosophy
University of Wisconsin–Madison
1430 Medical Sciences Center
1300 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-8561

  • Health and distributive justice
  • Climate change ethics
  • Philosophy of intergenerational welfare economics

Paul Kelleher is a philosopher specializing in areas of applied ethics and political philosophy that address the health of populations. His research interests include the nature of distributive justice and its implications for health policy; egalitarian theory; the ethics of rationing and health resource priority-setting; and climate change ethics and economics. His main current project explores philosophical dimensions of the social cost of carbon, a key concept for regulatory policy concerned with climate change.

Paul Kelleher's home page

John Kennan

Richard Meese Chaired Professor of Economics
Director, Juli Plant Grainger Institute for Economic Research
Department of Economics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
6434 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-5393

  • Bargaining
  • Migration
  • Monetary exchange with private information

John Kennan's home page

Cecelia Klingele

Cecelia Klingele

Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin Law School
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Law School, Room 8110
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 890-3258

  • Criminal justice administration
  • Sentencing and correctional policy
  • Community supervision
  • Collateral consequences of conviction
  • Policing

After receiving her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2005, Cecelia Klingele served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Judge Susan H. Black of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and Associate Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court. Previously, she was a supervising attorney at the law school's Frank J. Remington Center, and in spring 2014 she served as a visiting professor at Notre Dame Law School.

Professor Klingele's academic research focuses on criminal justice administration, with an emphasis on community supervision of offenders on conditional release. She is Associate Reporter for the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code: Sentencing revision, External Co-Director of the University of Minnesota Robina Institute's Sentencing Law & Policy Program, and past co-chair of the Academic Committee of the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section.

Cecelia Klingele's home page


Hedwig (Hedy) Lee

Hedwig (Hedy) Lee

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
University of Washington
Savery Hall 234
Seattle, WA 98195-3340
(206) 543-4572

  • Social determinants of health
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Poverty

Hedy Lee is a sociologist who is broadly interested in the social determinants and consequences of population health and health disparities, with a particular focus on race/ethnicity, poverty, race-related stress, and the family. Hedy's research draws from multiple sources of data to investigate these relationships. Her recent work examines the impact of family member incarceration on the health and attitudes of family members, association between discrimination and mental and physical health, documenting trends in racial/ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities, and using social media data for demographic and health research. Hedy is very interested in engaging in interdisciplinary research and has published and worked with scholars across a wide range of fields including sociology, demography, psychology, political science, public health, computer science, statistics and medicine.

Hedy Lee's home page

Rasmus Lentz

Associate Professor
Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research
Department of Economics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
6440 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-5373

  • Labor productivity growth
  • Worker reallocation

Rasmus Lentz's current research focuses on the contribution of labor reallocation to aggregate productivity growth. In particular, an explicit modeling that links labor market performance to aggregate productivity growth will allow a better understanding of the impact of labor market policies such as minimum wage legislation and employment protection on aggregate welfare. The research uses matched employer-employee data merged with detailed firm data to quantify the importance of worker reallocation in the economic growth process. Currently the data are from Denmark, but future work will include work on U.S. data.

Another line of work studies the link between self-insurance against income loss through savings and government-provided unemployment insurance. The work uses Danish unemployment duration data linked with a rich set of individual characteristics such as wealth holdings.

Rasmus Lentz's home page

Frank Levy

Daniel Rose Professor Emeritus of Urban Economics
Research Associate, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Room 9-523
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 253-2089

  • Economics of radiology
  • Changing labor market
  • Economics of education
  • U.S. income inequality and living standards

Frank Levy is a professor of urban economics whose recent research has focused on identification of unnecessary medical imaging as a tool to control medical costs. He has studied the ways that computer technology and offshoring are changing opportunities in the labor market and done work on the economics of education with Richard Murnane. He also researches U.S. income inequality and living standards.

Frank Levy's home page

I-Fen Lin

Department of Sociology
Bowling Green State University
217 Williams Hall
Bowling Green, OH 43403-0222
(419) 372-8517

  • Family structure
  • Child support policies
  • Kinship and intergenerational exchanges

I-Fen Lin's research interests center on family structure and child/adult well-being, intergenerational exchanges, child support policies, and the quality of survey data. Her recent work includes an examination of whether parents rely on principles of equity or equality in making judgments about nonresident fathers' obligations and rights, consequences of parental divorce for adult children's personal care and financial assistance to their frail parents, and discrepancies between mother and daughter reports of the assistance that adult daughters provide to their mothers. Her ongoing projects include the study of whether informal care breaks the cycle of disability and depressive symptoms among older adults and the antecedents and consequences of middle and later life divorce in the United States.

I-Fen Lin's home page

Lance Lochner

Canada Research Chair in Human Capital and Productivity
Director, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP)
Department of Economics
University of Western Ontario
Social Science Center, Room 4022
London, ON N6A 5C2
(519) 661-2111, ext. 85281

  • Labor economics
  • Economics of education
  • Economics of crime

Lance Lochner's research is largely devoted to the study of human capital formation throughout the lifecycle. His work emphasizes the importance of using theory to guide empirical analysis and evidence to inform theory. Previous and current research explores the interaction between human capital and criminal behavior, financial returns to schooling, post-school human capital acquisition, the evolution of earnings inequality in the U.S., education policy in a general equilibrium environment, the interaction of early and late investments in human capital, the relationship between family income and early child outcomes as well as educational attainment, and the nature of credit constraints and government lending programs in the education market.

Lance Lochner's home page

John Allen Logan

Department of Sociology
Center for Demography and Ecology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
3452 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-0995

  • Social mobility
  • Computationally intensive estimation methods
  • Systemic opportunity constraints

John Allen Logan's research focuses on social mobility and stratification in general, and actor-oriented models of employment and marriage in particular.

John A. Logan's home page

Leonard M. Lopoo

Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs
Director, Center for Policy Research
Co-Founder and Director, Maxwell X Lab
Syracuse University
426 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
(315) 443-9055

  • Child and family policy
  • Economic demography

Leonard M. Lopoo is an associate professor of public administration and international affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the Director of the Center for Policy Research at Syracuse University. Lopoo received his Ph.D. from the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago in 2001 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University from 2001 until 2003. Lopoo's research is interdisciplinary, and his interests primarily involve the family: fertility, marriage, maternal employment, and the social welfare policies designed to assist the low-income population. He has published in a number of journals, including Demography, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and Journal of Public Economics, among many others. He has received funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Aging, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research.

Leonard Lopoo's home page

Michael Lovenheim

Michael Lovenheim

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Policy Analysis and Management
College of Human Ecology
Cornell University
Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room 102
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 255-0705

  • Higher education policy
  • Teacher labor markets
  • Health care and educational achievement
  • Local public finance and taxation

Michael Lovenheim is an applied economist whose research focuses on the economics of education and local public finance. His education research examines the role of family and institutional resources in driving students' higher education investment decisions and how these decisions affect the paths students take through the postsecondary education system as well as their subsequent labor market outcomes. Currently, his research on higher education uses large administrative datasets to examine the effect of supports for high-ability, low-income students to attend elite public universities on postsecondary and labor market outcomes. Lovenheim additionally studies teacher labor market policies, such as the effect of teacher incentive pay and teachers' unions on school resources and student achievement, as well as how health care policies targeted at low-income families affect health and educational outcomes. In local public finance, his research analyzes how differences in sin tax regulations across geographic areas affect the impact of these taxes on consumer behavior and health. Lovenheim has published in journals such as the Review of Economics and Statistics, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, the Journal of Labor Economics and the Journal of Human Resources. He is on the editorial board of Demography and the Journal of Human Resources and has a forthcoming textbook on the economics of education.

Michael Lovenheim's home page

Samuel R. Lucas

Department of Sociology
University of California-Berkeley
410 Barrows Hall #1980
Berkeley, California 94720-1980

  • Social stratification/inequality
  • Sociology of education
  • Research methods
  • Research statistics

Samuel Lucas's research falls within the broad areas of social stratification/inequality, sociology of education, research methods, and statistics. His specific interests concern: (1) discrimination as a social phenomenon; (2) stratification and stratification theory; (3) the structure and effects of tracking in schools in the United States, and; (4) the coherence and logic of social science research and methods. The first three bear most directly on poverty. He is completing a three-volume study of race and sex discrimination in the United States. Beyond research, he is currently serving on the inaugural board of the newly-formed Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility section of the American Sociological Association.

Samuel Lucas's home page

Jens Ludwig

McCormick Foundation Professor of Social Service Administration, Law, and Public Policy
Director, University of Chicago Crime Lab
Co-Director, Urban Education Lab
School of Social Service Administration and University of Chicago Crime Lab
University of Chicago
Room 159
1155 East 69th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 702-3242

  • Urban poverty
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Crime

Jens Ludwig's research focuses on social problems related to urban poverty, with a focus on issues around education, housing, or crime. Since 1995 he has been involved in research on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Moving to Opportunity (MTO) residential mobility experiment, and currently serves as the Project Director for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) long-term follow-up of MTO families. His research in education includes studies of the consequences of school desegregation, and of the federal government's Head Start early childhood program. In the area of crime, he has co-authored numerous studies of the causes and remedies for gun violence including Gun Violence: The Real Costs, co-authored with Philip Cook (Oxford University Press, 2000), and co-edited with Cook the volume Evaluating Gun Policy (Brookings Institution Press, 2003). He is also co-editor with Cook and Justin McCrary of Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs (University of Chicago Press, 2011). He serves as the co-director of the NBER's Working Group on the Economics of Crime, and is Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, which was established in 2008 to partner with government agencies and nonprofits at the local, state and federal levels to carry out randomized experiments to learn more about the most cost-effective ways to control crime, violence, and related social problems.

Jens Ludwig's home page

Shelly Lundberg

Leonard Broom Professor of Demography
Associate Director, Broom Center for Demography
Professor II, University of Bergen, Norway
Department of Economics
University of California, Santa Barbara
2127 North Hall, Mail Stop 9210
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9210
(805) 893-8619

  • Labor economics
  • Inequality
  • Economics of the family

Shelly Lundberg's research is focused on labor and family economics and includes both theoretical modeling (of discrimination and inequality and of family decision-making) and empirical analysis (of fertility, labor supply, wage determination, and intra-household allocation of resources).Two current projects focus on parenting: an NICHD-funded study of the effects of child gender on parental behavior, and an examination of child agencies in U.S. households with Jennifer Romich, also funded by NICHD.

Shelly Lundberg's home page


Thomas MaCurdy

Professor of Economics
Senior Fellow of Hoover Institution
Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research
Stanford University
Landau Economics, Room 222
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
(650) 723-3983

  • Econometrics
  • Government income support programs
  • Labor economics

Thomas MaCurdy's research falls broadly in the area of human resources, with its main focus on the impacts of low-income support programs, income transfers, and tax systems on human development and economic activity. His studies uncover consequential empirical findings relevant for the design of public assistance policies, including such programs as welfare, food stamps, child support, foster care, low-skilled training, Earned Income Tax Credit, minimum wages, unemployment compensation, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other government aid for health care. MaCurdy's research addresses the determinants of participation, the characteristics and behavioral patterns of beneficiaries, influences on work disincentives, and how policies contribute to the well-being of program recipients.

Thomas MaCurdy's home page

Katherine Magnuson

Associate Director, Research and Training, Institute for Research on Poverty
Social Work Doctoral Program Chair
School of Social Work
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Room 206
1350 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-4812

  • Socioeconomic status and child development
  • Early education and intervention
  • Welfare reform and family well-being

Katherine Magnuson's primary research interests focus on better understanding the association between socioeconomic disadvantage and child development, as well as how to promote healthy development among disadvantaged children. Her current work focuses on understanding the intergenerational transmission of human capital, particularly the effects of maternal education on children, and the role of early education interventions in improving children's school readiness.

Katherine Magnuson's home page

Marsha R. Mailick

Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education
Vaughan Bascom and Elizabeth M. Boggs Professor
Graduate School
University of Wisconsin–Madison
333 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-5940

  • Mental retardation and poverty
  • Aging parents of mentally retarded children

The focus of Marsha Mailick's research is on the life course impacts of developmental disabilities on the family. She is interested in how lifelong caregiving affects the well-being of parents and siblings of individuals with disabilities, including autism, Down syndrome, schizophrenia, and fragile X syndrome. In addition, she has studied how the family environment affects the development of individuals with disabilities during adolescence and adulthood.

Mailick's research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1990. She currently is principal investigator of four grants: a 10-year longitudinal study of families of autism during adolescence and adulthood, research on a demographically-representative sample of parents of individuals with developmental disabilities, a study of family adaptation to fragile X syndrome (FXS), and an epidemiological study of the premutation of FXS (the latter is funded by the Centers for Disease Control). She is also collaborating on a 20-year follow up of families of older adults with Down syndrome.

Together, these studies offer specific insights about parenting a child with a disability, revealing both the stresses of this challenge and the resiliency of parents who cope successfully. In addition, her studies more generally address child effects on parents, revealing the bi-directional and reciprocal influences of parents and children on their unfolding and intersecting development across the life course.

Marsha Mailick's home page

Stephen Malpezzi

Lorin and Marjorie Tiefenthaler Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics
James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate
Wisconsin School of Business
University of Wisconsin–Madison
975 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706

  • Housing markets and policy
  • Housing price measurement
  • Real estate, urban development
  • International economic development

Stephen Malpezzi's research focuses on the intersections of urban development, housing and real estate markets, and welfare economics, in the United States and internationally. For example, he has constructed housing price indexes that are being used by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the construction of experimental poverty measures. His current work includes analyzing the causes of central city-suburban economic disparities, and the effects of land use and housing regulation on low-income households. With Richard Green, Malpezzi published a book entitled A Primer on U.S. Housing Markets and Policy (2003), Urban Institute Press.

Charles F. Manski

Board of Trustees Professor in Economics
Department of Economics and Institute for Policy Research
Northwestern University
Room 3216
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
(847) 491-8223

Charles F. Manski has been Board of Trustees Professor in Economics at Northwestern University since 1997. He previously was a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (1983–98), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1979–83), and Carnegie Mellon University (1973–80). He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in economics from M. I. T. in 1970 and 1973. Manski's research spans econometrics, judgement and decision, and the analysis of social policy. He is author of Identification for Prediction and Decision (Harvard 2007), Social Choice with Partial Knowledge of Treatment Response (Princeton 2005), Partial Identification of Probability Distributions (Springer 2003), Identification Problems in the Social Sciences (Harvard 1995), and Analog Estimation Methods in Econometrics (Chapman & Hall 1988), co-author of College Choice in America (Harvard 1983), and co-editor of Evaluating Welfare and Training Programs (Harvard 1992) and Structural Analysis of Discrete Data with Econometric Applications (MIT 1981). He has been editor of the Journal of Human Resources (1991–94), co-editor of the Econometric Society Monograph Series (1983–88), member of the Editorial Board of the Annual Review of Economics (from 2007), and associate editor of the Annals of Applied Statistics (from 2006), Journal of Economic Perspectives (1986–89), Econometrica, (1980–88), the Journal of the American Statistical Association (1983–85, 2002–04), and Transportation Science (1978–84).

He has served as Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty (1988–91) and as Chair of the Board of Overseers of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (1994–98). At the National Research Council, he has been Chair of the Committee on Data and Research for Policy on Illegal Drugs (1998–2001) and a member of the Board on Mathematical Sciences and their Applications (2004–2007), the Committee on National Statistics (1996–2000), and the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (1992–98). Manski is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, and an elected fellow of the Econometric Society, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Charles Manski's home page

Robert D. Mare

Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus
Department of Sociology
University of California, Los Angeles
Box 951551
264 Haines Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1551
(310) 825-5585

  • Labor market and marriage market trends
  • Intergenerational social mobility
  • Socioeconomic differences in adult mortality
  • Determinants of educational attainment

Robert D. Mare was the founding Director of the California Center for Population Research. He is a former Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has held visiting positions at RAND, Tel Aviv University, and the University of Oxford. His current poverty-related research lies in three areas. First, in collaboration with Robert Sampson, he is designing and implementing followup surveys of two major city-based panel surveys, the Los Angeles Survey of Families and Neighborhoods and the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. The reinterview studies will be used to analyze residential mobility and segregation, the individual, family, neighborhood and community level effects of mixed income housing and neighborhoods, and the consequences of housing and job loss during the great recession. Second, he is investigating the effects of grandparents and wider kin networks on socioeconomic achievement, focusing on processes that create unusually strong intergenerational persistence of extreme poverty and affluences. Third, in collaboration with Erika Arenas, he is designing and implementing a longitudinal study of partner choice and assortative mating in Mexico, focusing on educational, economic, and ethnic bases of intimate relationships.

Mare won the 1999 Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award from the Methodology Section of the American Sociological Association. In 2010 he served as President of the Population Association of America and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Robert Mare's home page

Michael Massoglia

Michael Massoglia

Romnes Professor of Sociology
Director of Graduate Studies
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4438 Sewell Social Science Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-7820

Mike Massoglia's work focuses on the social consequences of the expansion of the penal system, the relationship between the use of legal controls and demographic change in the United States, and patterns and consequences of criminal behavior over the life course. In recent journal articles, he has examined historical variation in U.S. criminal deportations, the impact of incarceration on health outcomes including health disparities and mental health, as well as the impact of incarceration for family functioning and neighborhood disadvantage. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health. His research fits with IRP's focus on family complexity and the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

Michael Massoglia's home page

Rebecca A. Maynard

University Trustee Professor of Education and Social Policy
President, Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
Graduate School of Education, Education Policy Division
University of Pennsylvania
Room 409
3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6216
(215) 898-3558

  • Education and social welfare policy
  • Economics of education
  • Experimental and qualitative research methods
  • Research synthesis methods

Rebecca Maynard is a leading expert in the design and conduct of randomized controlled trials in the areas of education and social policy, and she has conducted influential research demonstrating the limitations of quasi-experimental research designs. She helped develop the What Works Clearinghouse, and her work was instrumental in the creation of the Campbell Collaboration, an international association of public policy professionals who work to solve societal problems through scientific research and analysis. Currently, Maynard is working as the Commissioner of the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, where she oversees efforts to help educators and policymakers make informed decisions about educational programs.

Rebecca Maynard's home page

Sara S. McLanahan

William S. Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs
Founding Director, Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing (CRCW)
Office of Population Research
Princeton University
265 Wallace Hall
21 Prospect Avenue
Princeton, NJ 08544
(609) 258-4875

  • Family structure and the intergenerational transmission of poverty
  • Single motherhood
  • Effect of divorce on women and children

Sara McLanahan is the founder and director of the Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing and is an associate of the Office of Population Research. Her research interests include family demography, stratification, and social policy. She is co-author of Fathers Under Fire: The Revolution in Child Support Enforcement (1998), Social Policies for Children (1996); Growing Up with a Single Parent (1994), Child Support and Child Wellbeing (1994), Single Mothers and Their Children: A New American Dilemma (1986), and is Editor-in-Chief of The Future of Children.

Sara McLanahan's home page

Lawrence M. Mead

Professor of Politics and Public Policy
The Wilf Family Department of Politics
New York University
Room 209
19 West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-8540

Lawrence M. Mead's research has focused chiefly on antipoverty policy in the United States. He is best known as a critic of conventional welfare and an advocate of work requirements for employable recipients. However, much of his work focuses concretely on how best to implement welfare reform and other antipoverty programs. These institutional studies typically combine field interviewing with program data analysis. His most recent book is about how to raise work levels among poor men by expanding work programs linked to child support and criminal justice. He has also researched the politics of antipoverty policy including a study of how the agenda in welfare reform shifted between the 1960s and 1990s.

Other interests include the methodology of public policy research, scholastic trends in political science, the implications of poverty for political theory, and cultural aspects of the immigration question. He is currently writing a book on the nature of American world power.

Lawrence Mead's home page

Mary Haywood Metz

Professor Emerita
Department of Educational Policy Studies
University of Wisconsin–Madison

  • Effects of community social class on teachers' practice and students' opportunity to learn
  • Qualitative study of schooling of poor children and children of color
  • Models of school organization developed in research and implicit in the federal No Child Left Behind Act

Mary Haywood Metz's current research, based upon qualitative analysis of six public high schools in large metropolitan areas, is exploring the ways in which the social class of a community affects teachers' practice, thus strongly influencing the well-established links between students' social class and their educational achievement. She finds that as federal and state pressures for standardization of curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment intensify, it is increasingly important to understand the myriad formal and informal ways in which local community characteristics shape the core work of staff and students in every individual school.

She is planning a systematic review of models of school organization implicit and explicit in ethnographic studies of schools and in studies based on survey research—which she will compare to models implicit in current federal law and in the standards and practices of two diverse states.

Mary Metz's home page

Daniel R. Meyer

School of Social Work
University of Wisconsin–Madison
3434 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-7336

  • Economic support for single-parent families, including child support and welfare
  • Welfare reform and evaluation
  • Comparative family policy

Daniel Meyer is a member of the IRP Executive Committee. In addition to a faculty appointment in the School of Social Work, he has been a practicing social worker, a policy analyst for U.S. DHHS/ASPE, and a Visiting Scholar at the University of York (UK). From 2001 through 2008, he was the Director of the School of Social Work, and he is currently the Mary C Jacoby Professor of Social Work. His current research interests include effects of child support and welfare reforms; international approaches to child support policy; the economic well-being of women after they leave welfare; multiple-partner fertility, and how much individuals know about the social policies that affect them. He is Principal Investigator, with Maria Cancian, of the Child Support Research Agreement.

Daniel Meyer's home page

Marcia K. Meyers

Professor of Social Work and Public Affairs
Narramore Scholar of Poverty and Inequality Studies
School of Social Work
University of Washington
Box 354900
4101 15th Avenue, NE, Room 201
Seattle, WA 98105-4900
(206) 616-4409

  • Child and family welfare
  • Income and gender inequality
  • Child care and parental leave
  • Social program implementation
  • Comparative studies of the welfare state

Marcia K. Meyers earned an M.P.A. at Harvard University and an M.S.W. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Meyers' research focuses on public policies and programs for vulnerable populations, including public welfare services, child welfare programs, and child care services. Her papers have appeared recently in the Journal of Public Policy and Management, the European Journal of Social Policy, Social Services Review and Social Science Quarterly.

Marcia Meyers's home page

Peter M. Miller

Peter M. Miller

Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
University of Wisconsin–Madison
270-B Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706-1326
(608) 262-3771

Peter Miller studies issues of educational leadership, policy, organizational change, and community-based collective action as they relate to issues of homelessness, poverty, and university-school-community partnerships. In these contexts, his research strives toward deeper understandings of how diversely positioned individuals and groups work together toward common ends. The results of this research can ultimately be of significant utility in the improvement of cross-sector leadership practice in the broader public sphere. Some of his recent work has examined homeless and highly mobile families and looked at Promise Neighborhoods in urban and tribal settings.

Peter Miller's home page

Ronald Mincy

Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice
Director, Center for Research on Fathers, Children, and Family Well-Being
School of Social Work
Columbia University
1255 Amsterdam Avenue, Room 736
New York, NY 10027
(212) 851-2406

  • Economic and social mobility
  • Child support
  • Income security policy
  • Responsible fatherhood
  • Low-wage labor markets
  • Urban poverty

Ronald Mincy's current research, funded by the Ford Foundation, is intended to show that despite lower response rates, data reported by fathers in the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study is indispensable for studies of important policy questions and that multiple imputation (MI) techniques can be used to recover missing father data. One paper in progress (with Hill and Sinkewicz), using MI to recover missing data on fathers' earnings and its determinants, finds that transitions to marriage have no significant causal effect on the earnings of disadvantaged, unmarried, and disproportionately black fathers, after accounting for selection. The paper also suggests that 'differencing,' the primary way studies control for selection in this literature, may lead to biased estimates of the marriage differential. A second study (with Meadows, Garfinkel, and McLanahan) uses MI and latent growth curve models to examine the effects of union transitions on the age-earnings profiles of unmarried fathers.

Ronald Mincy's home page

Thomas W. Mitchell

Thomas Mitchell

Texas A&M School of Law
Texas A&M University
Office 203B
1515 Commerce Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102-6509
(817) 212-3935

Thomas W. Mitchell is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School. He has done extensive research and legislative and outreach work on property issues impacting poor and/or minority communities, both domestically and internationally, and is a national expert on property issues which impact African-Americans.

Professor Mitchell served as the Reporter (the person tasked with primary drafting authority) for the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act which was promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (commonly known as the Uniform Law Commission) in 2010 and endorsed by the A.B.A. in 2011. The Act seeks to reform the law of partition with respect to family-owned tenancy-in-common property as many families have lost their tenancy-in-common property as a result of forced partition sales of their property as well as the real estate-wealth associated with such property. The Act has been enacted into law in Georgia and Nevada and Professor Mitchell is actively working with the Uniform Law Commission at this time to encourage other states to enact it into law. Professor Mitchell is just the second African-American to have served as a Reporter for the Uniform Law Commission in the commission's 120-year history, a period of time in which it has promulgated more than 300 uniform acts including the Uniform Commercial Code and the Uniform Probate Code. He has served on the Property Preservation Task Force, a task force of the A.B.A.'s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, and serves as a member of the board of directors for Farmers' Legal Action Group and Gathering Waters Conservancy.

Thomas Mitchell's home page

Robert A. Moffitt

Krieger-Eisenhower Chaired Professor of Economics
Department of Economics
Johns Hopkins University
Wyman Park Building 526
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
(410) 516-7611

  • Effects of welfare reform
  • Program evaluation methodology
  • Trends in U.S. welfare system

Robert Moffitt's research focuses on the incentive and behavioral effects of the U.S. welfare system, including AFDC/TANF, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Medicaid. He has studied the effects of these programs on work incentives, welfare participation, and family structure and fertility. He has also conducted research on statistical methods for evaluating poverty programs. His current research includes studies of trends in the level and distribution of transfer program payments and their effects on poverty; further studies of 1996 welfare reform and of subsequent reforms in the SNAP program; the economic determinants of female headship; and new methods for program evaluation. Professor Moffitt is past Editor of the American Economic Review, past Co-Editor of the Review of Economics and Statistics, and past Editor of the Journal of Human Resources.

Robert Moffitt's home page

James D. Montgomery

Associate Dean for Fiscal Initiatives, College of Letters and Sciences
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
2436 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 265-4475

  • Social networks in the labor market
  • Urban poverty

James Montgomery is Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. A mathematical sociologist, he attempts to formalize sociological theories. His work has explored the role of social networks in the labor market, examining whether the widespread use of referrals could help explain persistent inequality across demographic groups. He has also developed formal models based on ethnographic accounts of urban poverty. His current research uses two-sex demographic population-projection models to address intergenerational transmission of cultural traits.

James Montgomery's home page

Alfonso Morales

Alfonso Morales

Professor of Urban and Regional Planning
Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture
University of Wisconsin–Madison
104 Music Hall
925 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-4848

  • Public markets
  • Food systems
  • Economic development
  • Urban agriculture

Alfonso Morales studies food systems, public marketplaces, and street vendors, and the role and function that they serve in economic development. Using an innovative blend of the disciplines of sociology and urban planning, Morales has created a body of books, articles, book chapters, and other writing that provides practical insight into the ways that urban agriculture, food distribution, street-level economies and social interactions contribute to and influence community and economic development. He is among a small number of researchers who employ ethnographic field research methods to help inform contemporary theoretical debates about community food systems, public markets, space use, and street vending businesses. His primary dissertation research on Chicago's Maxwell Street Market established the foundation for what has become a wider range of studies of the social, cultural, and economic factors that involved in the interactions between public marketplaces and the areas where they are established. Morales has created which helps farmers market managers track and analyze food security use data at their market, among other important metrics they can use to report market impacts on their local communities.

Alfonso Morales's home page

Donald P. Moynihan

Professor and Director
La Follette School of Public Affairs
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Room 109
1225 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-6633

  • Selection and implementation of public management reforms
  • Crisis management
  • Performance management

Donald Moynihan's research focuses on the management of public policies. This includes the implementation of such policies at the front lines, and the efforts to measure organizational performance. His research on performance management details how performance measures are used to emphasize certain goals over others. His research on crisis management studies how public agencies coordinate amid crisis response and the implications of their response for citizens included case studies of Hurricane Katrina incident command systems. Current related research includes examination of public agencies' response to catastrophic flooding in southern Wisconsin during the summer of 2008.

Donald Moynihan's home page

Anita Mukherjee

Anita Mukherjee

Assistant Professor
Michael E. Lehman Distinguished Chair for Inspired Learning in Business
Department of Risk and Insurance
Wisconsin School of Business
University of Wisconsin–Madison
5273 Grainger Hall
975 University Avenue
(608) 262-8602

  • Development finance
  • Public economics
  • Risk management

Anita Mukherjee is an applied economist whose research is focused on evaluating public policies that affect vulnerable populations, both in the U.S. and internationally. Her work on domestic policy has been in criminal justice, examining the consequences of private prison contracting on prisoner time served and recidivism; she also has ongoing work studying the impact of prison labor laws on these outcomes.

Her research in international development evaluates the impact of innovative financial products on the welfare of poor households via randomized controlled trials, and she has studied rainfall-indexed insurance and micropension products in India. She also has ongoing work a large microfinance institution in India to investigate whether there exist synergies between health education and asset transfer programs for addressing health- and attention-based poverty traps among ultra-poor households.

Anita Mukherjee's home page

John Mullahy

John Mullahy

Professor of Health Economics
Co-Director, Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program
Co-Director, NIMH Training Program in Health and Mental Health Economics
Department of Population Health Sciences
University of Wisconsin–Madison
787 WARF Building
610 North Walnut Street
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 265-5410

  • Health economics
  • Evaluation methodology
  • Applied econometrics
  • Unhealthy behaviors
  • Time use

John Mullahy is an economist currently working as a Professor of Population Health Sciences and an affiliate professor at the La Follette School of Public Affairs and the Center for Demography and Ecology at UW–Madison; a visiting professor at University College Dublin; an affiliate faculty member of the Health, Econometrics, and Data Group at the University of York; and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Much of his current work focuses on evaluating health and healthcare interventions, on understanding socioeconomic variation in health, and on economic analysis of healthy and unhealthy behaviors. At UW–Madison, he co-directs the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-supported Health & Society Scholars Program and the NIMH-supported predoctoral training program in Health and Mental Health Economics. He is co-editor of Health Economics and an associate editor of the Journal of Health Economics.

John Mullahy's home page

Richard J. Murnane

Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society
Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
Graduate School of Education
Harvard University
Gutman 406B
6 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 496-4820

  • Economy and education
  • Educational equity
  • Policy analysis and evaluation

Richard Murnane, an economist, is Thompson Professor of Education and Society at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. In recent years he has researched the effect of computer-based technological change on skill demands in the U.S. economy and the consequences of initiatives designed to improve the performance of the education sector. Murnane is currently co-director (with Greg Duncan) of a large research project examining the ways that increased family income inequality in the U.S. affects opportunities for children from low-income families to obtain a good education. Russell Sage will publish a volume of papers edited by Duncan and Murnane bearing on this set of issues in late 2011.

Richard Murnane's home page


Daniel Nagin

Daniel Nagin

Teresa and H. John Heinz III University Professor of Public Policy and Statistics
Carnegie Mellon University
2508B Hamburg Hall
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
(412) 268-8474

Daniel S. Nagin is Teresa and H. John Heinz III University Professor of Public Policy and Statistics. His research focuses on the evolution of criminal and antisocial behaviors over the life course, the deterrent effect of criminal and non-criminal penalties on illegal behaviors, and the development of statistical methods for analyzing longitudinal data.

Nagin is the co-editor of Criminology and Public Policy, chaired the National Research Council's Committee on Deterrence and the Death Penalty, and served as Deputy Secretary for Fiscal Policy and Analysis in the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue from 1981 to 1986.

Nagin is an elected Fellow of the American Society of Criminology, American Society for the Advancement of Science, and American Academy of Political and Social Science. He is the 2006 recipient of the American Society of Criminology's Edwin H. Sutherland Award and in 2014 was awarded the Stockholm Prize in Criminology.

Daniel Nagin's home page

Salvador Navarro

Associate Professor
W. Glenn Campbell Fellow
Department of Economics
University of Western Ontario
4041 Social Science Centre
London ON N6A 5C2
(519) 661-2111 ext. 81586

  • Economics of schooling
  • Economic evaluation of policies
  • Applied econometrics
  • Identification of economic choice models and associated treatment effects

Salvador Navarro's main line of research focuses on understanding schooling attendance; in particular, trying to determine the importance played by background, family income, credit constraints, uncertainty, heterogeneity, and preferences. In recent work he also looks at the methodology used in studies of social mobility and inequality, at the determinants of participation in the informal economy, and at estimation of option values of schooling.

Salvador Navarro's home page

Dipesh Navsaria

Dipesh Navsaria

Associate Professor
Department of Pediatrics
School of Medicine and Public Health
University of Wisconsin–Madison
2870 University Avenue, Room 200
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-7180

  • Pediatrics
  • Child poverty
  • Child development
  • Literacy programs

Dipesh Navsaria is an associate professor of pediatrics and director of the MD-MPH program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He practices primary care pediatrics at a federally-qualified health center in South Madison and is the founding medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin and the founder and director of the Pediatric Early Literacy Projects at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Navsaria leads advocacy training for medical learners at different levels, and teaches them about the implications of poverty for the patients they serve. He is also an active participant on the Academic Pediatric Association's Child Poverty Task Force, served on the American Academy of Pediatrics' Early Brain and Child Development Leadership Group, and is a current officer of the Wisconsin Chapter of the AAP. He is also a Fellow at Ascend at the Aspen Institute, which works on two-generation policy solutions for our country. Navsaria is committed to understanding how basic science can translate into busy primary-care settings via population health concepts and policy initiatives. He aims to educate the next generation of health care providers in realizing how their professional roles include being involved in larger concepts of social policy and how they may affect the cognitive development of children.

Dipesh Navsaria's home page

Derek A. Neal

Co-Director of Graduate Placement
Member, Committee on Education
Department of Economics and the Committee on Education
University of Chicago
1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 702-8166

  • The design of incentive systems for educators
  • Racial differences in labor market outcomes
  • Links between marriage market and labor market outcomes

Derek Neal's current research focuses on the design of incentive systems for educators. His work explores the design flaws in current performance pay and accountability systems and also highlights the advantages of providing incentives through contests between schools. He is a recent past president of the Midwest Economics Association, a fellow of the Society of Labor Economists, and an editor of the Journal of Political Economy.

Derek Neal's home page

Charles A. Nelson

Professor of Pediatrics
Director of Research, Developmental Medicine Center
Laboratory of Cognitive Neurosciences
Harvard University
Boston Children's Hospital
6th Floor
1 Autumn Street
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 355-0401

  • Effects of early experience on brain and behavioral development
  • Developing children and children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders

Nelson's research interests are broadly concerned with developmental cognitive neuroscience, an interdisciplinary field that requires expertise in developmental neuroscience and developmental psychology. His specific interests are concerned with the effects of early experience on brain and behavioral development, particularly as such experience influences the development of memory and the development of the ability to recognize faces. Nelson studies both typically developing children and children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders, and he employs behavioral, electrophysiological (ERP), and metabolic (MRI) tools in his research.

Charles Nelson's home page

Kimberly Noble

Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Education
Teachers College
Columbia University
1052 Thndk
525 West 120th Street
New York, NY 10027
(212) 678-3486

  • Socioeconomic status
  • Brain development
  • Early childhood

Kimberly Noble, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. As a neuroscientist and board-certified pediatrician, she studies how inequality relates to in children's cognitive and brain development. She is particularly interested in understanding how early in childhood such disparities develop, the modifiable environmental differences that account for these disparities, and the ways we might harness this research to inform the design of interventions. Her work linking family income to brain structure across childhood and adolescence has received worldwide attention in the popular press. Noble has served as the principal investigator or Co-PI on several federal and foundation grants, and was named a "Rising Star" by the Association for Psychological Science.

Kimberly Noble's home page

Jenna Nobles

Associate Professor of Sociology and Population Health
Associate Director for Training, Center for Demography and Ecology
of Sociology and Population Health
Department of Sociology and Center for Demography and Ecology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4456 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-4024

  • Child development in impoverished settings
  • Mexico-U.S. migration
  • Family formation in Indonesia

Jenna Nobles's research examines family dynamics in developing settings. In previous research she has examined Mexico-U.S. migration from the perspective of Mexican households with a focus on the health and schooling outcomes of children who grow up apart from migrating parents. Several ongoing projects consider (1) the intersection of gender and migration in Latin American households, (2) the family and community processes that facilitate disaster recovery in Indonesia, and (3) the relationship between macro-nutritional change and child development.

Jenna Nobles's home page

Jennifer L. Noyes

Jennifer Noyes

Associate Dean for Operations and Staff
Distinguished Researcher
College of Letters and Science
University of Wisconsin–Madison
105 South Hall
Madison, WI 53706

  • Child care
  • Child support
  • Job training and workforce policy
  • Program and management evaluation
  • Welfare policy
  • Integration of human services programs

Jennifer L. Noyes is Associate Director of Programs and Management as well as a Distinguished Researcher with the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her recent research focuses on the integration of services and programs designed to enhance the employment prospects and economic well-being of low-income families and children; the implementation of policies and programs related to welfare, child support, and child welfare; and the collaboration of the research and practitioner communities in order to improve policy and practice. She currently serves as the Project Director of the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration evaluation. Noyes has considerable experience in the administration and evaluation of social programs, having served as a program evaluator in both the legislative and executive branches of Wisconsin state government; a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute; and a senior administrator in Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development with responsibility for Wisconsin Works (W-2), the state's welfare replacement program. She has consulted with and provided technical assistance to the National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and members of Congress. Dr. Noyes received her doctorate in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.


Rourke O'Brien

Rourke O'Brien

Assistant Professor
La Follette School of Public Affairs
University of Wisconsin–Madison
204 Observatory Hill Office Building
1225 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-3908

  • Economic mobility & inequality
  • Health
  • Public finance
  • Household finance

Rourke O'Brien's research focuses on public finance, economic mobility, population health, and household finance. Recent and ongoing projects explore: the impact of health and health policy on intergenerational economic mobility; the social determinants and social consequences of state and local tax systems; the effect of having bad credit on employment outcomes; and the social, cognitive and policy determinants of financial decision-making. He is an interdisciplinary social scientist employing theories and methods from sociology, economics and psychology.

His work has appeared or is forthcoming in academic outlets including the American Journal of Sociology, Social Science & Medicine, and Social Forces and his popular writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post. From 2012–2014 he served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Rourke O'Brien's home page

Pamela E. Oliver

Conway-Bascom Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
8143 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-6829

  • Collective action and social movements
  • Collective turmoil and violence
  • Racial movements and community mobilization
  • Race and imprisonment

Pamela Oliver's major research interests center on the interplay between grassroots or citizen action of various forms and governmental or elite responses. The ability of impoverished populations or those concerned about them to obtain redress through political systems depends on the results of various kinds of citizen action (both legal and disruptive or violent). A recent project examined the interplay among political cycles and processes and news media cycles and processes in determining whether and how people are able to bring issues into the public sphere. In this project, police and newspaper records of public events were compared. Another project seeks to identify the factors behind the large racial disparities in imprisonment rates. This work has involved a special emphasis on Wisconsin, while newer work compares states. This project recognizes that the economic and social well-being of communities are damaged when a high proportion of a community's young adult population is in prison. A theoretical project develops coevolution models for the ways in which authorities and protesters or criminals respond to each other over time.

Pamela Oliver's home page

Michael Olneck

Professor Emeritus of Educational Policy Studies
Department of Educational Policy Studies
University of Wisconsin–Madison
208 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-1760

  • Schooling and social stratification
  • Schooling and racial and ethnic inequality

Michael Olneck is currently conducting research on educational responses to ethnic and racial diversity in American education since the 1920s, and is attempting to assess the potential of multiculturalism in contemporary American education to promote equality.

Michael Olneck's home page


Devah Pager

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy
Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute
Director, Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy
Department of Sociology
Harvard University
420 William James Hall
33 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 496-0824

Few Americans today believe that discrimination remains an important factor in shaping opportunity. But because contemporary forms of discrimination are likely to be subtle and covert, it is difficult to assess whether discrimination is now a thing of the past or has simply become more difficult to observe. She investigates discrimination in low-wage labor markets by hiring young men—who differ only by race, ethnicity, or criminal background—to pose as job applicants, presenting identical qualifications to employers for real entry-level jobs. Her work shows substantial evidence of hiring discrimination, with black men receiving call-backs or job offers at only half the rate of equally qualified whites. In fact, a young black man with a clean record does no better in his search for low-wage work than a white man with a felony conviction. Though discrimination is by no means the only—or even the most important—cause of contemporary racial inequality, this research suggests that discrimination remains far more prevalent than most Americans would expect.

In a second line of research, she investigates the labor market consequences of mass incarceration. The U.S. currently houses over two million prison inmates, with over 600,000 inmates being imprisoned each year. Research suggests that finding steady quality employment is one of the strongest predictors of whether or not a former offender will return to jail. At the same time, contact with the criminal justice system itself imposes significant barriers to employment. She finds that ex-offenders are about one-half to one-third as likely to be considered by employers relative to equally qualified men with no criminal background. Given the exponential growth of the ex-offender population over the past twenty years (paired with high rates of unemployment and recidivism), the barriers to employment facing this group matter not only for ex-offenders themselves but have also become relevant to concerns over public safety more generally.

Devah Pager's home page

Alberto Palloni

Samuel H. Preston Professor of Sociology, Emeritus
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4434 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-2182

  • Childhood and maternal health status and poverty
  • Conditions of minorities

Alberto Palloni's main areas of research are maternal and child health care and mortality, aging, and formal modeling in demography. He is currently the coordinator of a large effort to collect data on the health status and economic well-being of elderly populations in Latin America.

Alberto Palloni's home page

David J. Pate, Jr.

Associate Professor
Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
1053 Enderis Hall
PO Box 786
Milwaukee, WI 53201
(414) 229-6038

  • Welfare reform policy
  • Child support enforcement policy
  • Fatherhood
  • Domestic violence
  • The intersection of race, gender, and poverty

David Pate's fields of special interest are welfare reform policy; child support enforcement policy; fatherhood; domestic violence; and the intersection of race, gender, and poverty. He has over twenty years of direct service, management, and policy experience in the field of social work.

Pate's research projects involve the use of qualitative research methods to examine the relationship of noncustodial fathers of children on welfare and their interaction with their children, the child support enforcement system, the mothers of their children, and the incarceration system.

Pate received a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Detroit, a Masters of Arts in Social Work from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration, and then earned a Ph.D. in Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Prior to his appointment at UWM, He was the founder and former executive director of the Center for Family Policy and Practice, and held a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), University of Wisconsin–Madison.

David Pate's home page

Sarah K. Paul

Sarah K. Paul

Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
University of Wisconsin–Madison
5185 Helen C. White
600 N. Park St.
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 890-3744

Sarah Paul is a philosopher whose research focuses on the nature of agency and rationality, with an eye toward the significance of these topics for the criminal law and other social assessments of responsibility. She is interested in the effect that poverty can have on what counts as rational long-term decision-making, and how a better understanding of the causes of weakness of will can inform strategies for exerting self-control. Other research concerns how we are able to achieve knowledge of ourselves, our own minds, and our intentional actions.

Sarah Paul's home page

Jamie Peck

Canada Research Chair in Urban and Regional Political Economy
Professor of Geography
Department of Geography
University of British Columbia
1984 West Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
(604) 822-0894

  • Political economy of workfare
  • Labor market restructuring
  • Contingent work and working poverty

Jamie Peck's research interests are in the restructuring of labor markets and antipoverty programs, theories of labor segmentation and economic regulation, and the political economy of state restructuring. Currently working on issues of contingent work, low-wage labor markets, and globalizing social policy, he is author of Work-Place: The Social Regulation of Labor Markets (Guilford, 1996) and Workfare States (Guilford, 2001).

Jamie Peck's home page

Claudia L. Persico

Assistant Professor
Educational Leadership & Policy Anaysis
School of Education
University of Wisconsin–Madison
270L Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 265-6643

  • Inequality
  • Education policy
  • Early childhood health

Claudia Persico is an economics and neuroscience-oriented policy scholar with interests in inequality, education policy and early childhood health. Her research on school finance reform has been featured in the Quarterly Journal of Economics ("The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence From School Finance Reforms" with C. Kirabo Jackson and Rucker C. Johnson). Her current work examines the social and biological mechanisms underlying the relationships between poverty, the environment, and children's cognitive development and health. In particular, much of her current research focuses on how prenatal exposure to environmental toxicants can contribute to long-term inequalities in child health, behavior and academic achievement.

Claudia Persico's home page

Alejandra Ros Pilarz

Assistant Profesor
School of Social Work
University of Wisconsin–Madison
3460 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 890-1898

  • Child and family policy
  • Child care and early education
  • Work and family
  • Child development

Alejandra Ros Pilarz's research examines how parental employment and early care and education experiences contribute to young children's development. She is particularly interested in understanding these questions in the context of economic disadvantage and in the role of public policies in supporting working parents and their children's development. In her research, she primarily conducts quantitative analyses of longitudinal, administrative and survey data, but also has experience in collecting and analyzing in-depth interview data.

Alejandra Ros Pilarz's home page

Maureen A. Pirog

Rudy Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs
Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Johannesburg, Department of Governance
School of Public & Environmental Affairs
University of Indiana
1315 East Tenth Street, Room 410H
Bloomington, IN 47405
(812) 856-5926

  • Poverty and income maintenance
  • Child support enforcement
  • Welfare reform
  • Adolescent parenting
  • Methods of policy evaluation

Maureen Pirog's research focuses on the evaluation of government programs, the methodology of evaluation as well as the evaluation of various social welfare policies. She recently completely several projects on E-Governance, two of which were national demonstration projects funded by the US Office of Child Support Enforcement. She completed an evaluation assessment of a quarter billion dollar (US) education intervention in Barbados for the InterAmerican Development Bank. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, a position she has held since 2004.

Maureen Pirog's home page

Robert D. Plotnick

Daniel J. Evans Professor Emeritus of Public Policy
Senior Faculty Affiliate, West Coast Poverty Center
Adjunct Professor, Department of Economics
Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance
University of Washington
Box 353055
227 Parrington Hall
Seattle, WA 98195-3055
(206) 685-2055

  • Effect of being childless on the economic and health status of elders
  • Family structure
  • Income support policy
  • Poverty among male single-parent families

Robert Plotnick's research interests include poverty, income inequality, child support and income transfer policy, and related social welfare policy issues in the United States. His current research projects address the effect of being childless on the economic and health status of elders, and poverty among male single-parent families. He recently published Old Assumptions, New Realities: Ensuring Economic Security for Working Families in the 21st Century (co-edited with Marcia K. Meyers, Jennifer Romich, and Steven R. Smith).

Robert Plotnick's home page

Julie Poehlmann-Tynan

Dorothy A. O'Brien Professor in Human Ecology
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
School of Human Ecology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4130 Nancy Nicholas Hall
1300 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-4839

  • Role of family relationships in the development of resilience in high-risk infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • Interaction of emerging relationships with biological and environmental vulnerabilities (including poverty) in shaping the cognitive and social emotional development of at-risk children
  • Context of poverty in the family, including how it relates to maternal mental health problems (depression in particular) and child development

Julie Poehlmann's research includes studies of two very different examples of children's development in the context of risk: (1) preterm infants, and (2) young children whose parents are incarcerated. Both lines of research focus on how young children's developing cognitive abilities, self-regulation, attachment relationships, and behavior problems relate to child, parental, and extended family characteristics, including indices of family poverty. Related to her research focusing on children of incarcerated parents, she also studies children raised by their grandparents and children in kinship care. Poverty is a critical issue for all of these families.

Julie Poehlmann-Tynan's home page

Robert A. Pollak

Hernreich Distinguished Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Professor of Law
Department of Economics, Olin Business School
Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1133
1 Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
(314) 935-4918

  • Environmental economics and policy
  • Consumer demand analysis and consumer behavior
  • Demography, labor economics, and the economics of the family

Robert Pollak's current research interests are the economics of the family and demography. Pollak is the author of numerous articles in professional journals and three books: From Parent to Child: Intrahousehold Allocations and Intergenerational Relations in the United States (1995, with J. Behrman and P. Taubman), Demand System Specification and Estimation (1992, with T. Wales), and The Theory of the Cost-of-Living Index (1989). Pollak is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Econometric Society. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Pollak served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the National Statistics panel on Cost-of-Living Indexes and is now serving on the Standing Committee on Research and Evidentiary Standards.

Pollak has served as senior consultant to the Economics Initiative of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. From 1997–2007, he co-chaired the MacArthur Foundation Network on the Family and the Economy, an interdisciplinary group of economists, sociologists, and developmental psychologists studying the functioning of families. Pollak was awarded a fellowship for 1999–2000 by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Pollak was president of the Midwest Economics Association in 2002–2003 and was president of the Society of Labor Economists in 2009–2010.

Robert Pollak's home page

Seth D. Pollak

College of Letters and Science Distinguished Professor of Psychology
Director, Child Emotion Lab, Waisman Center
Department of Psychology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
317 W J Brogden Psychology Building
1202 West Johnson Street
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 890-2525

Seth Pollak is a developmental psychopathologist who directs the Child Emotion Lab at the University of Wisconsin–Madison's Waisman Center. He is interested in understanding the mechanisms through which children's experiences increase biobehavioral development and vulnerability for behavioral disorders. The goal of his work is to use psychopathological processes to help to understand relative contributions of "nature" and "nurture" to human development and the role of social experience on brain development, with particular emphasis on how the quantity and quality of early experiences in children's lives influences how children think about and process information.

Seth Pollak's home page

Linn Posey-Maddox

Associate Professor
Department of Educational Policy Studies
219 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-6863

  • Race, class, and educational inequality
  • Education and urban policy
  • Families and schools
  • Qualitative research methods

Posey-Maddox is a scholar of urban and suburban education with an emphasis on race, class, and educational inequality. Drawing from sociological perspectives, she has a particular concern with understanding race and class relations and the potential for integration in schools and communities impacted by demographic change. She has three related research strands. First, she examines family-school relations, with a particular focus on how race, class, and gender shape opportunity structures and the experiences of parents and children in school and community contexts. Second, she seeks to understand how policy discourses and contexts intersect with the understandings and experiences of educators, students, and families. Lastly, she is interested in processes of demographic change in cities and metropolitan regions and the implications for racial and economic integration in public schools. She is the author of When Middle-Class Parents Choose Urban Schools: Class, Race, and the Challenge of Equity in Public Education (University of Chicago Press).

Linn Posey-Maddox's home page


Steven Raphael

Professor and James D. Marver Chair in Public Policy
Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy
University of California, Berkeley
Room 343, GSPP Addition
2607 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
(510) 643-0536

  • Employment discrimination
  • Labor economics
  • Racial inequality
  • Urban economics

Steven Raphael's fields of concentration are labor and urban economics. Raphael has authored several research projects investigating the relationship between racial segregation in housing markets and the relative employment prospects of African Americans. Raphael has also written theoretical and empirical papers on the economics of discrimination, the role of access to transportation in determining employment outcomes, the relationship between unemployment and crime, the role of peer influences on youth behavior, the effect of trade unions on wage structures, and homelessness.

Steven Raphael's home page

James M. Raymo

James Raymo

Professor and Chair of Sociology
Associate Director of Graduate Training, Center for Demography of Health and Aging
Department of Sociology and Center for Demography and Ecology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4452 Sewell Social Science Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-2783

  • Marriage and family
  • Aging and the life lourse
  • Demography and ecology
  • Methods and statistics
  • Social stratification
  • Contemporary Japanese society

Jim Raymo is a professor of sociology and is also the director of the Concentration in Analysis and Research and the incoming director of the Center for Demography and Ecology. He is currently engaged in a project involving socioeconomic differentials in family behaviors in Japan and their implications for variation in well-being; another in which he evaluates the ways in which work experiences across the life course are associated with retirement, health, wealth, and mortality in the United States; and a third in which he examines relationships between employment status, family circumstances, and well-being at older ages in Japan.

Jim Raymo's home page

Andrew M. Reschovsky

Professor Emeritus of Applied Economics and Public Affairs
Research Fellow at Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Department of Valuation and Taxation
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
113 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-3400
(617) 503-2129

  • The distribution of tax burdens
  • Fiscal responses of states to welfare reform
  • Financing of an adequate public education for low-income students

Andrew Reschovsky's current research interests include tax policies to increase homeownership among low- and moderate-income households, the impact of devolution on the fiscal health of central cities, school finance formulas to provide adequate education to low-income students, and the design of a grant system for the financing of education in South Africa.

Andrew Reschovsky's home page

Arthur J. Reynolds

Director, Institute of Child Development
Director, Chicago Longitudinal Study
Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Institute of Child Development
University of Minnesota
301 19th Avenue South, Room 225
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0438
(612) 625-4321

  • Design and evaluation of early childhood interventions
  • Childhood poverty and its effects
  • Evaluation research methods
  • Prevention science

Arthur Reynolds's poverty-related research focuses on the effects of school- and family-based interventions for poor children. He is also interested in evaluation research methods. For over a decade he has directed the Chicago Longitudinal Study, a prospective investigation of the long-run effects of participation in a large-scale early childhood intervention program for economically disadvantaged children and families. The project has begun the early-adulthood phase with a focus on educational attainment, postsecondary outcomes, and benefit-cost analysis.

Arthur Reynolds's home page

Roberta Riportella

Kansas Health Foundation Professor of Community Health
School of Family Studies and Human Services
College of Human Ecology
Kansas State University
K-State Extension
343 Justin Hall
1324 Lovers Lane
Manhattan, KS 66506-1403
(785) 532-1942

  • Health care policy
  • Access to care for vulnerable populations
  • Health insurance
  • Health care provider supply

Roberta Riportella serveD as project director for Covering Kids and Families Wisconsin (CKF), a coalition-based Medicaid outreach organization. As part of CKF she is involved with several outreach and research projects including:

  • REACH BC+: Retention and Enrollment to Achieve Children's Health (northeast and southeast Wisconsin), Wisconsin Partnership Fund for a Healthy Future, UW School of Medicine and School of Public Health.
  • REACH BC+: Retention and Enrollment to Achieve Children's Health and Build Capacity, Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment.
  • Outreach work Covering Kids and Families, Helen Bader Foundation.
  • Contracted to complete BadgerCare Plus on-site enrollment for state's CHIPRA commitment, Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

She is also currently contracted by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to identify ways for Wisconsin's School Food Authorities (SFAs) to increase their capacity to consistently run the federally required direct certification process as efficiently and as frequently as possible.

Roberta Riportella's home page

Stephanie A. Robert

Professor and Director
Co-Director, Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program
School of Social Work
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Room 312
1350 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-6336

  • Socioeconomic status, race, and health of older adults
  • Neighborhoods and health across the life course
  • Long-term care policy and programs

Most of Stephanie Robert's research examines socioeconomic inequalities in health over the life course. She focuses particularly on how neighborhood socioeconomic and racial context affect the health and well-being of residents, especially at older ages. She is also interested in long-term care policies and programs that help older adults remain living in home community environments. Current projects include time use among older adults, racial disparities in birth outcomes, public opinion on health and health disparities, and neighborhood context and health.

Stephanie Robert's home page

Joel Rogers

Sewell-Bascom Professor of Law, Sociology, Political Science & Public Affairs
Director, Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS)
Director, Mayors Innovation Project, State Smart Transportation Initiative, Commons21
University of Wisconsin–Madison
7114B Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-4266

  • Postwar U.S. labor and employment policy; unionism
  • Distribution of legal services in U.S.
  • Basic income guarantees

Joel Rogers is the Sewell-Bascom Professor of Law, Political Science, Public Affairs, and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he also directs COWS, the national high-road strategy center. Rogers has written widely on American politics and democratic theory. Along with many articles, his books include The Hidden Election, On Democracy, Right Turn, Metro Futures, Associations and Democracy, Works Councils, Working Capital, What Workers Want, Cites at Work, and American Society. Joel has also worked with and advised many politicians and social movement leaders, and founded, co-founded, and helped operate several progressive NGOs (including the New Party, Economic Analysis Research Network, Apollo Alliance, Emerald Cities Collaborative, and State Innovation Exchange). He is a contributing editor of The Nation and Boston Review. Along with various academic honors, he is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and identified by Newsweek as one of the 100 living Americans most likely to shape U.S. politics and culture in the 21st century.

Joel Rogers's home page

Jennifer (Jennie) Romich

Jennifer (Jennie) Romich

Associate Professor
Director, West Coast Poverty Center
Adjunct Associate Professor, Evans School of Public Affairs
School of Social Work
University of Washington
Room 225K
4101 15th Avenue, NE
Seattle, WA 98105-6299
(206) 616-6121

  • Low-income working families and means-tested transfer programs
  • Family resources
  • Local labor standards (paid sick time, minimum wage)

Jennifer Romich serves as Director of the West Coast Poverty Center and is an Associate Professor of Social Welfare at the University of Washington. Romich studies resources and economic in families, with a particular emphasis on low income workers, household budgets, and families' interactions with public policy. Her current poverty-related projects include ongoing research into effective marginal tax rates created by means-tested benefit schedules and the tax system; evaluations of the City of Seattle paid sick leave and $15 minimum wage ordinances; and a mixed-methods investigation of income of families involved with the child welfare system. Romich holds bachelors and masters degrees in economics and earned a PhD in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University.

Jennifer Romich's home page

Ingrid Rothe

Researcher Emerita
Institute for Research on Poverty
University of Wisconsin–Madison
6239 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-6358

  • Child support program operations and outcomes
  • The uses of performance measures and indicators of client well-being to monitor welfare program operation
  • How low-income families combine the use of public programs and employment to support their children

Ingrid Rothe worked in child support and welfare policy development and welfare data collection and research prior to coming to IRP. At IRP, she helps facilitate the analysis of administrative data by researchers.


Emmanuel Saez

Chancellor's Chair in Tax Policy and Public Finance
Director, Center for Equitable Growth
Department of Economics
University of California, Berkeley
530 Evans Hall, 3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
(510) 642-4631

  • Dynamics of income inequality
  • Retirement plan decisions
  • Capital income taxation
  • Behavioral responses to taxation
  • Optimal income taxation
  • Social insurance

Emmanuel Saez's main areas of research are centered around taxation, redistribution, and inequality, both from a theoretical and empirical perspective. He is currently editor of the Journal of Public Economics and co-director of the Public Policy Program at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He was awarded the John Bates Clark medal of the American Economic Association in 2009.

Emmanuel Saez's home page

Anya Samek

Anya Samak

Associate Professor (Research)
Center for Economic and Social Research
University of Southern California
214E Verna and Peter Dauterive Hall
635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089
(773) 609-0425

Anya Samek's primary fields of study are applied microeconomics, experimental economics, health economics and visual analytics. She uses the methodology of experimental economics to explore behavior and decision-making in different contexts, with a focus on the use of visual tools in financial decision-making, the applications of social information to philanthropic giving, and the effects of incentives and information in the health-related decision-making context.

Samek serves as a Principal Investigator on the multi-year Science of Philanthropy Initiative project (housed at the University of Chicago, UW–Madison, and Georgia State University), and leads several large-scale field experiments on the impact of incentives and information on child food choice. Samek's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Social Security Administration, the Templeton Foundation, and the Cornell's Center for Behavioral Economics and Child Nutrition.

Anya Samek's home page

Gary D. Sandefur

Provost, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Sociology
Division of Academic Affairs
Oklahoma State University
101 Whitehurst Hall
Stillwater, OK 74078
(405) 744-5627

  • Single-parent families
  • Teenage and nonmarital childbearing
  • Minorities and poverty

Gary Sandefur's research interests include the study of social and racial stratification and racial inequality. Among current projects are a study of the effects of family disruption and geographical mobility on social capital outside the family, and the effects of these on educational attainment. Another project involves following state rates of out-of-wedlock childbearing and changes in these in response to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act.

Gary Sandefur's home page

Nora Cate Schaeffer

Sewell Bascom Professor of Sociology
Faculty Director, UW Survey Center
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4422 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-3868

Center for Demography and Ecology
  • Child support, especially quality of parental self-reports about awards and payments
  • Survey methodology

Nora Cate Schaeffer teaches courses in survey research methods, and conducts research on questionnaire design and interaction during survey interviews. She currently serves as member of the Public Opinion Quarterly Advisory Board of the American Association for Public Opinion Research and of the General Social Survey Board of Overseers. She recently (2009) completed terms as the Council on Sections Representatives for the Survey Research Methods Section of the American Statistical Association and as a member of the Census Advisory Committee of Professional Associations. Her service for the National Research Council (NRC) includes the Panel on the Design of the 2010 Census Program of Evaluations and Experiments, the Committee on National Statistics, the Panel to Review Research and Development Statistics at the National Science Foundation, and the Panel to Evaluate Alternative Census Methods for the National Research Council. Other previous service includes the American Statistical Association Technical Advisory Committee on the Survey of Income and Program Participation; the Technical Review Committee for the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth; the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences; and the governing Council of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. She has also served on the editorial boards of Public Opinion Quarterly, Sociological Methods and Research, and Sociological Methodology. Before receiving her doctorate from the University of Chicago (1984), she worked at the National Opinion Research Center. In 2010 she was selected as a fellow of the American Statistical Association.

Nora Cate Schaeffer's home page

Walton O. Schalick, III

Walton O. Schalick, III

Medical Director
Care and Treatment Services
Central Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled
317 Knutson Drive
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 301-9231

  • Children with disabilities in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States over the last two centuries and the poverty-related policies and legislation they were often subject to

Walton Schalick's research splits in three directions. His poverty-related work concerns children with disabilities (whose families were often poor and the object of poverty-related policies and legislation) in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States over the last two centuries. A second research interest is in clinical and applied ethics research on children with emergency conditions; and the third seeks to understand the role of universities in recreating medieval markets, particularly around pharmaceuticals. He is a member of the Waisman Center.

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

Professor of Human Development and Social Policy
Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research
Chair, Program on Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies
School of Education and Social Policy
Northwestern University
Annenberg Hall, Room 205
2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
(847) 491-3884

  • Early childhood education
  • Accountability policy
  • Economics of education
  • Obesity
  • Antipoverty policy
  • Education and health

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach studies education policy, child health, and food consumption. Her most recent work investigates the impact of school accountability policies (like the Federal No Child Left Behind Act) and school reform policies (such as small schools and charter schools) on student performance and other outcomes. In addition, she has used the Project STAR experiment to study the impact of classroom composition and class size on student outcomes. In current projects, she is studying the impact of school policies such as school lunches and availability of recess and gym class on child obesity. Her work on food assistance has measured how households alter their consumption of food, leisure, and other goods when they receive food assistance benefits, and whether the benefits improve the health of recipients.

Diane Schanzenbach's home page

Robert F. Schoeni

Professor of Public Policy and Economics
Research Professor, Survey Research Center and Population Studies Center
Co-Director, Panel Study of Income Dynamics
Institute for Social Research
University of Michigan
426 Thompson Street, Room 3200
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 763-5131

  • Health and aging
  • Labor economics and poverty
  • Survey methods

Robert Schoeni studies labor economics, the family, aging, and welfare policy. Recent studies include the investigation of changes in old-age health status and disability, the effects of welfare reform on various outcomes, the economic consequences of workplace injuries, and poverty among older women. He also serves as codirector of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and codirector of the Postdoctoral Program of the Population Studies Center.

Robert Schoeni's home page

John Karl Scholz

Dean, College of Letters and Science
College of Letters and Science
University of Wisconsin–Madison
105 South Hall
1055 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-2303

  • Earned Income Tax Credit; tax policy in general
  • Consumption and saving of American households

John Karl Scholz is a past director of IRP. In 1997 to 1998 he was the deputy assistant secretary for Tax Analysis at the U.S. Treasury Department, and from 1990 to 1991 he was a senior staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisors. Scholz writes on diverse topics including household saving, the Earned Income Tax Credit and low-wage labor markets, financial barriers to higher education, and bankruptcy laws. In 2007 Scholz and his colleagues Ananth Seshadri and Surachai Khitatrakun were awarded the twelfth annual TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security for their paper "Are Americans Saving 'Optimally' for Retirement?" He is currently the coeditor of the American Economic Journal – Economic Policy.

Karl Scholz's home page

Jonathan Schwabish

Senior Fellow
Income and Benefits Policy Center
Urban Institute
2100 M St., NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 261-5386

  • Earnings and income inequality
  • Immigration disability insurance
  • Retirement security
  • Data measurement
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Jonathan Schwabish is a Senior Research Associate in The Urban Institute's Income and Benefits Policy Center. He is also a member of the Institute's Communication team where he specializes in data visualization and presentation design. Previously, he worked at the Congressional Budget Office conducting research in such areas as earnings and income inequality, immigration, disability insurance, retirement security, data measurement, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other aspects of public policy. He is also considered a leader in the data visualization field and is a leading voice for clarity and accessibility in research. He has written on various aspects of how to best visualize data including technical aspects of creation, design best practices, and how to communicate social science research in more accessible ways. He was named a "visualization thought leader" by AllAnalytics in 2012.

In addition to his efforts to improve how researchers communicate their findings to a wider audience, Dr. Schwabish continues to pursue his existing research portfolio. Ongoing and future work includes investigation of child nutrition programs; long-term earnings patterns among SNAP recipients; the relationship between state-level SNAP policies and individual participation decisions; coincident retirement-disability Social Security benefit claiming behavior; and patterns in earnings inequality and volatility within and across groups of workers.

Jonathan Schwabish's home page

Christine R. Schwartz

Affiliate, Center for Demography and Ecology
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4458 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-5791

  • Marriage patterns and economic inequality
  • Assortative mating
  • Union formation and educational achievement

Christine Schwartz's research interests are in the areas of social demography, family, and stratification. She has several current projects that explore the relationship between changes in union formation and dissolution, assortative mating, and economic inequality in the United States. Another line of research investigates how and why partner choice differs depending on the type of union sought. To this end, she is currently investigating partner selection among opposite-sex married and cohabiting couples and same-sex male and female couples.

Christine Schwartz's home page

Kristin Seefeldt

Kristen Seefeldt

Assistant Professor
School of Social Work and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
University of Michigan
2726 SSWB
1080 S. University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 615-2113

  • Poverty
  • Economic well being
  • Financial coping strategies
  • Recession
  • Recovery policies
  • Work-life balance

Kristin Seefeldt's primary research interests lie in exploring how low-income individuals understand their situations, particularly around issues related to work and economic well being. Currently, she is conducting research on families' financial coping strategies and is a Principal Investigator of a survey examining the effects of the recession and recovery policies on individuals' well being. Her most recent book, Abandoned Families (Russell Sage), explores the ways in which various institutions that once fostered economic security and upward mobility, currently fail low and moderate income families, particularly families of color. She is also the author of Working After Welfare (W.E. Upjohn Institute Press), which discusses employment and work-family balance challenges among former welfare recipients, and a co-author of America's Poor and the Great Recession (Indiana University Press).

Kristin Seefeldt's home page

Judith A. Seltzer

Department of Sociology
University of California, Los Angeles
212A Haines Hall
Box 951551
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1551
(310) 825-5646

  • Child support, custody, and visitation arrangements; conflict between parents and the effect of conflict on relationships between parents and children who live apart
  • Intergenerational relationships
  • Inequality within and between families

Judith Seltzer's research examines inequality with and between families. I am especially interested in kinship institutions that are in flux, such as marriage and cohabitation in the contemporary United States or divorced and nonmarital families, in which family membership and co-residence do not coincide. With my collaborators, I also explore ways to improve the quality of survey data on families. These interests come together in a new project, "Designing New Models for Explaining Family Change and Variation." This NICHD-sponsored project evaluates existing knowledge about change and variation in family experiences and will develop a plan for collecting new data on families. The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers at UCLA, Duke, and Maryland as well as other institutions.

Judith Seltzer's home page

Ananth Seshadri

Professor and Todd E. and Elizabeth H. Warnock Chair in Economics
Department of Economics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
6448A Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-6196

  • Demography and the wealth of nations
  • International fertility differences

Ananth Seshadri currently works on the effects of demographic change on the wealth and poverty of nations. His recent work shows that differences in fertility rates and life expectancies across countries create large disparities in stocks of human capital and consequently output per capita. In ongoing work, he argues that differences in productivity levels across countries explain international differences in fertility and schooling.

Ananth Seshadri's home page

Michael Sherraden

George Warren Brown Distinguished University Professor
Founding Director, Center for Social Development
Founding Director, Next Age Institute
George Warren Brown School of Social Work
Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1196
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
(314) 935-6691

  • Asset building
  • Civic engagement and civic service
  • Productive aging
  • Social policy
  • Community development
  • Youth development

Michael Sherraden is Washington University's founding director of the Brown School's Center for Social Development (CSD). His research has significantly focused on Individual Development Accounts and other asset building tools for low-income families and individuals. Currently, Sherraden is researching Child Development Accounts and youth savings programs both in the United States and in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal. His work on civic service helped lead to the development of AmeriCorps in 1993. In 2010, he was named to Time Magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world.

Michael Sherraden's home page

Kristen Shook Slack

School of Social Work
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Room 215
1350 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-4630

  • Child maltreatment prevention
  • Child welfare services
  • Intersection of child welfare and public assistance systems

Kristi Shook Slack's research interests focus on the etiology of different forms of child maltreatment and the relationship between poverty and child neglect. She is also interested in the relationship between welfare and child welfare systems, particularly in the context of the economic recession. She is currently investigating (with Lawrence Berger) the role of community response programs in the child maltreatment prevention arena, and testing the impact of an intervention designed to reduce child maltreatment through the provision of economic supports. Additional research includes a study of low-income families participating in an innovative home visiting program in Dane County, a survey of Women, Infant and Children (WIC) participants across the state, and comparative analyses of child protection system involvement across multiple longitudinal studies of low-income families with young children. Her work is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Wisconsin Children's Trust Fund, and Dane County Human Services.

Kristen Shook Slack's home page

Timothy M. Smeeding

Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics
La Follette School of Public Affairs and Institute for Research on Poverty
University of Wisconsin–Madison
3464 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 890-1317

  • Public policy, especially social policy and at-risk populations
  • Poverty and income distribution, income transfers, and tax policy
  • Health economics

Timothy M. (Tim) Smeeding is the Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) since 2008. Professor Smeeding's recent publications include: Young Disadvantaged Men: Fathers, Families, Poverty, and Policy (ANNALS, Volume 635, May 2011); Persistence, Privilege and Parenting: The Comparative Study of Intergenerational Mobility, (co-edited with Robert Erikson and Markus Jantti (Russell Sage Foundation, in press); The Oxford Handbook of Economic Inequality, co-edited with Brian Nolan and Weimer Salverda (Oxford University Press, April, 2009); Poor Kids in a Rich Country: America's Children in Comparative Perspective, co-authored with Lee Rainwater (Russell Sage Foundation, 2003; paperback ed. 2004 ); The Future of the Family, co-edited by Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Lee Rainwater (Russell Sage Foundation, 2004; paperback ed., 2006) and The American Welfare State: Laggard or Leader?, co-authored with Irv Garfinkel and Lee Rainwater (Oxford University Press, February 2010). His recent research has been on child poverty, low-income men and their role as fathers; measuring poverty and mobility across generations; and inequality, wealth, and poverty in a national and cross-national context.

Timothy Smeeding's home page

Jeffrey Smith

Jeffrey (Jeff) Smith

Department of Economics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
7454 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-3066

  • Program evaluation methodology
  • Active labor market programs
  • Performance management
  • College quality and match

Jeff Smith's home page

Joe Soss

Cowles Chair for the Study of Public Service
Professor of Sociology, Political Science and Public Affairs
Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Social Policy Area
University of Minnesota
261 Humphrey School
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 626-9865

  • Politics of poverty and inequality
  • Policy formation and implementation
  • Race/ethnicity, gender, and class
  • Public opinion and political behavior

Joe Soss is the inaugural Cowles Chair for the Study of Public Service at the University of Minnesota, where he holds faculty positions in the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, the Department of Political Science, and the Department of Sociology. His research and teaching explore the interplay of democratic politics, socioeconomic inequalities, and public policy. He is particularly interested in the political sources and consequences of policies that govern social marginality and shape life conditions for socially marginal groups.

Joe Soss is the author of Unwanted Claims: The Politics of Participation in the U.S. Welfare System (2000), co-editor of Race and the Politics of Welfare Reform (2003), co-editor of Remaking America: Democracy and Public Policy in an Age of Inequality (2007), and author or co-author of numerous scholarly articles. He also co-authored a book that was published by University of Chicago Press, Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race (2011). In 2010, he received the campus-wide Outstanding Faculty Award from the University of Minnesota's Council of Graduate Students (COGS).

Joe Soss's home page

Matthew W. Stagner

Senior Fellow and Director of Human Services Research
Mathematica Policy Research
111 East Wacker Drive, Suite 920
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 994-1002

  • Youth risk behaviors
  • Child welfare services
  • Program evaluation

Matthew Stagner is an expert on youth risk behaviors, child welfare services, and program evaluation. He is currently conducting research with Mark Courtney on the effectiveness of programs for children aging out of foster care. Stagner holds a Ph.D. from the Harris School and an MPP from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Matthew Stagner's home page

Michael Stoll

Professor of Public Policy and Urban Planning
Associate Director, Center for the Study of Urban Poverty
Luskin School of Public Affairs
University of California, Los Angeles
6331 Public Affairs Building
Box 951656
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656
(310) 206-4774

  • Urban poverty and inequality
  • Labor market difficulties of low-skilled workers
  • Employment situation of ex-offenders

Michael Stoll's main research interests include the study of urban poverty and inequality, specifically the interplay of labor markets, race/ethnicity, geography and workforce development. Stoll's published work includes an examination of the labor market difficulties of African Americans and less-skilled workers, in particular the role that racial residential segregation, job location patterns, employer discrimination, transportation, and job information play in limiting employment opportunities. He served as a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City in 1999 to 2000.

Currently, Stoll has begun major research projects to examine the labor market consequences of mass incarceration in the United States. This research program will include a detailed examination of employers' willingness to hire ex-offenders, how employers check for criminal backgrounds of potential employees, and whether employers statistically discriminate in hiring against groups with high incarceration rates, such as African Americans. He is also investigating whether the recent increase in prisoner release as a result of mass incarceration in the United States has affected regional crime rates.

Michael Stoll's home page

Katherine Swartz

Professor of Health Policy and Economics
Department of Health Policy and Management
Harvard University
Kresge Building 404
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 432-4325

  • Implementation issues related to the new health care reform law (PPACA)
  • Aging issues
  • Reasons for and ways to control episodes of care that involve extremely high expenditures

Katherine Swartz's current research interests focus on implementation issues related to the new health care reform law (PPACA); aging issues; and reasons for and ways to control episodes of care that involve extremely high expenditures. Her research related to the PPACA center on two implementation issues: how the insurance exchanges will work with current state regulations of the sale of health insurance and how lower-income people with fluctuating income will obtain Medicaid or premium subsidies for purchasing coverage in the exchanges.

She is the author of Reinsuring Health: Why More Middle-Class People Are Uninsured and What Government Can Do. In the book, she describes who does not have insurance today and why the middle class are more likely to be uninsured today than 30 years ago, how insurance companies compete in the individual and small group insurance markets, and why government-sponsored reinsurance for people with very-high expenditures would make small group and individual insurance more accessible and affordable for many of the uninsured. Her proposal about reinsurance is part of the PPACA and the exchanges. Swartz also is increasingly engaged in policy issues related to the aging of the population, particularly how to develop greater efficiency in providing community long-term care services and housing options to enable more people to age in place.

Katherine Swartz's home page

Justin R. Sydnor

Associate Professor and Leslie P. Schultz Professor in Risk Management and Insurance
Associate Director, Center for Financial Security
Wisconsin School of Business
Department of Risk and Insurance
University of Wisconsin–Madison
5287 Grainger Hall
975 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-2138

  • Psychology and economics
  • Applied microeconomics
  • (Behavioral) industrial organization
  • Insurance markets
  • Risk and decision-making

Justin Sydnor is an applied microeconomist specializing in behavioral economics. His interests are wide-ranging and eclectic and include the study of risk aversion and insurance choices, discrimination, and issues surrounding self-control and commitment.

Justin Sydnor's home page


Christopher Taber

Walker Family Distinguished Chair in Economics
Department of Economics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
6446 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-7791

  • Economics of education
  • Wage growth
  • Sources of income inequality

Christopher Taber is a labor economist whose research focuses on the development and implementation of econometric models of skill formation including schooling, on-the-job training and other forms of human capital investment. His research includes studies of Catholic schooling and vouchers, wage growth among low-wage workers, the importance of borrowing constraints in schooling decisions, and general equilibrium models of the labor market.

Christopher Taber's home page

Susannah Camic Tahk

Susannah Camic Tahk

Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Development, and Director, Institute for Legal Studies
University of Wisconsin Law School
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Law School, Room 8106
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 890-3750

  • Tax law & policy
  • Earned income tax credit
  • Tax-exempt organizations
  • Health care tax policy

Susannah Camic Tahk writes and teaches on tax law and policy and supervises UW Law's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. She is interested in the relationship between tax law and social policy, in taxes earmarked for specific programs, and in tax-exempt organizations. Many of her articles have focused on ways that the tax code works to combat poverty.

Her current projects examine how tax-exempt hospitals benefit the communities in which they work and on how tax anti-poverty programs perform relative to their non-tax counterparts. Her articles have appeared or will appear in the Tax Law Review, the Arizona Law Review, the Penn State Law Review, the Fordham Law Review, the Harvard Journal on Legislation, the Pittsburgh Tax Review and the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics.

Susannah Camic Tahk's home page

Mindi N. Thompson

Associate Professor
Clinical Training Director, PhD Program in Counseling Psychology
Department of Counseling Psychology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
333 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 265-4760

  • Relations of social status, social class, and socioeconomic status to educational persistence and vocational development
  • Social class and poverty as relevant to psychotherapy processes and outcomes
  • Mental health disparities

Mindi Thompson's research agenda focuses on understanding the experience of social class and perceived social status identity from a psychological, as opposed to a sociological, perspective. She explores the relations of the unique (but interrelated) constructs of social class, socioeconomic status, social status, and classism to vocational development, educational persistence, psychotherapy, and mental health.

Mindi Thompson's home page

Owen Thompson

Owen Thompson

Assistant Professor
Department of Economics
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
878 Bolton Hall
3210 N. Maryland Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 229-4812

  • Health economics
  • Labor economics
  • Economics of education

Owen Thompson is an economist whose research is broadly themed around understanding the transmission of socioeconomic characteristics across generations. Some of my intergenerational mobility related work focuses on the role of genetic transmission mechanisms and their interaction with environmental conditions, while other mobility related projects emphasize non-genetic considerations, for instance the impact of US drug policy on income mobility and the determinants of parenting behaviors.

More recently, Thompson's research has focused on evaluating the efficacy of core US social programs for low-income populations. For instance in recently completed working papers I study whether Head Start programs from the initial phases of the War on Poverty improved the long-term outcomes of participating children, and evaluate how cumulative exposure to more generous Medicaid and CHIP programs during childhood affects health outcomes in early adulthood.

Owen Thompson's home page

Elizabeth Thomson

Professor Emerita
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
4321 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-2182

  • Fertility
  • Values, life plans, and life events
  • Education and family stability
  • Family structure and child well-being

In addition to her UW–Madison professorship, Elizabeth Thomson is Professor of Demography at Stockholm University. She is a demographer with roots in social psychology and the measurement of subjective phenomena. Much of her work has focused on couple data on fertility and family behavior. She has also studied stepfamily childbearing decisions and the relationship between union experience and contraceptive sterilization. She is currently directing a project on the implications of education for family building and family stability and will soon develop a program of research on family change, economic resources and child well-being. All of this work takes a cross-national comparative perspective using data from the United States and several European countries.

Elizabeth Thomson's home page

Leann M. Tigges

Department of Community and Environmental Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
350 Agricultural Hall
1450 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 764-4433

  • Flexibilization of employment: contingent work and nonstandard schedules
  • Economic transformation and labor market inequality

Leann Tigges's research interests focus on issues related to economic transformation and labor market inequalities. Tigges is interested in the relative explanatory power of human capital (what one knows) versus social capital (who one knows or where one lives) for a variety of labor market processes and outcomes. Her current research concerns labor utilization strategies of manufacturers in Wisconsin, especially their use of temporary workers and their shift schedules. These strategies are associated with wages and labor force composition.

Leann Tigges's home page

Ruth López N. Turley

Director, Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC)
Associate Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research
Department of Sociology
Rice University
MS 28, Sewall Hall 358A
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 348-5713

  • Educational inequality
  • Race and ethnicity

Ruth López Turley completed her undergraduate work at Stanford University (1996) and received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University (2001), where she was a doctoral fellow at the Kennedy School of Government's Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy. Prior to coming to Rice, she was an assistant and associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she was a faculty affiliate of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER), the Interdisciplinary Training Program in Education Sciences (ITP), and the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP). In 2004, she was a National Academy of Education postdoctoral fellow.

Turley's research focuses on educational inequality in the United States, with the aim of closing socioeconomic gaps in achievement and attainment. Her work includes the study of the transition from high school to college, college expectations, the Hispanic-White college application gap, college proximity, parents' contributions to college costs, living on campus during college, K-12 educational outcomes of immigrant youth, the evidence-based school interventions movement, student mobility, and relations of trust among parents and school personnel (social capital). Her research has been funded by organizations such as the Russell Sage Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and she has received training on conducting cluster-randomized trials from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.

Turley received numerous teaching and mentoring awards at Wisconsin, including an Exceptional Professor Award, Award for Excellence in Teaching, several Honored Instructor Awards, and the Dr. Brenda Pfaehler Award of Excellence. Turley serves as a Council Member (elected) of the Sociology of Education Section of the American Sociological Association and is on the Editorial Board of the Sociology of Education journal. Turley is originally from Laredo, Texas. She is married to Rev. Dr. Steve Turley, and they are the proud parents of two sons, Alejandro (2006) and Gabriel (2008).

Ruth López Turley's home page


Christopher Uggen

Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight Professor of Sociology and Law
Martindale Chair in Sociology
Fellow, American Society of Criminology
Department of Sociology
University of Minnesota
909 Social Science Tower
267 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 624-4016

  • Crime, law, justice
  • Life course
  • Inequality
  • Methods
  • Policy

Uggen's research, teaching, and advising interests include crime and punishment, social and political inequality, and law and society. Current projects include a comparative study of reentry from different types of institutions, employment discrimination and criminal records, crime and justice after genocide, and the health effects of incarceration. His outreach and engagement projects include editing Contexts Magazine and The Society Pages (with Doug Hartmann) and Public Criminologies (with Michelle Inderbitzin).

Christopher Uggen's home page


Robert Vargas

Robert Vargas

Neubauer Family Assistant Professor
Founding Director, Political Violence Lab
Department of Sociology
University of Chicago
1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

  • Urban sociology
  • Urban politics
  • Criminology
  • Health

Robert Vargas conducts research on how politics and governance shapes the lives of the urban poor. His book Wounded City (Oxford University Press, Spring 2016) illuminates how political competition over wards in Chicago can concentrate violence with clusters of blocks in a neighborhood. The research from this project have won several awards from the Society for the Study of Social Problems and Northwestern University. His next project is a longitudinal ethnography of how the Affordable Care Act has affected the lives of low-income uninsured black, Latino, and white adults in Chicago. Prior to arriving at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Sociology Department, Robert was a fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Program at Harvard University, and completed his PhD in sociology from Northwestern University.

Robert Vargas' home page


Jane Waldfogel

Compton Foundation Centennial Professor of Social Work for the Prevention of Children's and Youth Problems
School of Social Work
Columbia University
1255 Amsterdam Avenue, Room 729
New York, NY 10027
(212) 851-2408

  • The impact of public policies on child and family well-being
  • Poverty, inequality, and social mobility

Jane Waldfogel is a professor of social work and public affairs at Columbia University School of Social Work and a visiting professor at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics. Waldfogel received her Ph.D. in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has written extensively on the impact of public policies on child and family well-being. Her books include Britain's War on Poverty (Russell Sage Foundation, 2010), Steady Gains and Stalled Progress: Inequality and the Black-White Test Score Gap (Russell Sage Foundation, 2008), What Children Need (Harvard University Press, 2006), Securing the Future: Investing in Children from Birth to College (Russell Sage Foundation, 2000), and The Future of Child Protection: How to Break the Cycle of Abuse and Neglect (Harvard University Press, 1998). Her current research includes studies of work-family policies, fragile families and child well-being, improving the measurement of poverty, income-related gaps in school readiness, and inequality in early child outcomes in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.

Jane Waldfogel's home page

James R. Walker

Department of Economics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
6462 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-3863

  • Modeling fertility behavior
  • Internal migration
  • Socioeconomic status and health and mortality

James Walker's research interests include the study of influence of economic conditions and public policies on migration and fertility decisions over the life cycle. A current project investigates how teens form expectations and aspirations and their influence on teenage pregnancy and fertility behavior. Another project investigates the influence of economic conditions on internal migration flows. A third project investigates the effect of SES on mortality.

James Walker's home page

Geoffrey Wallace

Associate Professor of Public Affairs and Economics
La Follette School of Public Affairs
University of Wisconsin–Madison
202 Observatory Hill Office Building
1225 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 265-6025

  • Economics of marriage and the family
  • Poverty and public policy
  • Labor economics

Geoffrey Wallace's research is in the areas of labor economics, the economics of marriage and the family, and policy issues relating to poverty. Current projects examine the effects of changing economic conditions on living arrangements among young people, the effects of competition on educational outcomes, and issues of child support enforcement. His research on educational outcomes includes a study of the effects of Milwaukee's public school choice program on student achievement. Wallace received his doctorate in economics from Northwestern University.

Geoffrey Wallace's home page

Tova Walsh

Tova Walsh

Assistant Professor
School of Social Work
University of Wisconsin–Madison
1350 University Avenue, Room 306
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-6356

  • The transition to parenthood in vulnerable populations
  • Family violence prevention
  • Interventions to enhance parent-child relationships
  • Military families

Tova Walsh's research focuses on understanding and improving health and wellbeing in multi-stressed families, with an emphasis on pregnancy and early parenting in contexts of risk. In one line of current research, she is examining the prenatal experiences, psychological processes, and support needs of expectant fathers and mothers, with the aim of informing efforts to promote healthy pregnancies and positive partnering and parenting. In another line of research, she aims to better understand the special challenges of parenting across the deployment cycle for military families with young children, with the goal of informing the provision of support to military service members, veterans and their families. Walsh's research draws on her experience working in low-income communities as a home visitor to families with children ages 0–3. This work inspires her continuing interest in efforts to build protective factors that help buffer children and families from adverse experiences and stressful circumstances.

Tova Walsh's home page

Yang Wang

Yang Wang

Assistant Professor
La Follette School of Public Affairs
University of Wisconsin–Madison
212 Observatory Hill Office Building
1225 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-1802

  • Health economics
  • Applied microeconomics
  • Applied econometrics

Yang Wang is an economist whose research focuses on the health effects of public policies and on people's decision-making processes related to their health. Her recent work has examined health effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit and minimum wages as well as questions related to malnutrition and food insecurity. Wang's research has been published in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, the International Economic Review, and the Journal of Health Economics. In addition, she is the co-author of a chapter on "The Double Burden of Malnutrition" in The Oxford Handbook of Economics and Human Biology (2016).

Yang Wang's home page

Christopher Wildeman

Christopher Wildeman

Associate Professor
Co-Director, National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect
Associate Director, Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research;
Director, Development Core, Cornell Population Center
Policy Analysis and Management
College of Human Ecology
Cornell University
137 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-2069

  • Parental incarceration
  • Child welfare
  • Inequality

Christopher Wildeman's research and teaching interests revolve around the consequences of mass imprisonment for inequality, with emphasis on families, health, and children. He is also interested in child welfare, especially as relates to child maltreatment and the foster care system. He is the 2007 recipient of the Dorothy S. Thomas Award from the Population of America and the 2013 recipient of the Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology, and his research has been funded by the Administration for Children and Families, Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

Christopher Wildeman's home page

Franklin Wilson

William H. Sewell-Bascom Emeritus Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
3450 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-2182

  • Migration/immigration
  • Urban housing and labor markets
  • Ethnicity

Franklin Wilson's home page

William Julius Wilson

Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor
Director, Joblessness and Urban Poverty Research Program, Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy
Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard University
Taubman 406, Mailbox 103
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 496-4514

William Julius Wilson's home page

Christopher T. Wimer

Co-Director, Center on Poverty and Social Policy
Research Scientist, Columbia Population Research Center
School of Social Work
Columbia University
735 School of Social Work
1255 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10025
(212) 854-0245

  • Poverty and hardship measurement
  • Safety net programs and policies
  • Deep poverty

Christopher Wimer is Co-Director at the Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy (CSPS) and is a Research Scientist at the Columbia Population Research Center. He is the Project Director on CPRC's New York City Longitudinal Study of Wellbeing. Wimer's research focuses on measuring poverty and disadvantage, how families cope with poverty and economic insecurity, and the role of social policies in the lives of disadvantaged families.

Christopher T. Wimer's home page

Michael L. Wiseman

Research Professor of Public Policy, Public Administration, and Economics
George Washington Institute of Public Policy
George Washington University
805 21st Street, NW, Room 620
Washington, DC 20052
(703) 967-6612

  • Evaluation of welfare reform
  • Management of social assistance
  • Use of administrative data for program management and evaluation

Michael Wiseman's research interests include comparative social welfare policy, program and policy evaluation, and the management of programs of public assistance. Over the past two decades Wiseman has been an active participant in the formulation and evaluation of welfare reform initiatives and related policy in the United States, Europe, and South Africa. He is a consultant on program management and evaluation to various state and federal agencies and has served as consultant on policy and evaluation for the European Commission, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the United Kingdom Department for Work and Pensions. In 1997 he was appointed by then-Governor Tommy Thompson to be vice chair and ranking external member of the Steering Committee for the Wisconsin Works Management and Evaluation Project (W-2 MEP), a research effort intended to provide guidance for analysis of implementation and contracting issues arising in the context of Wisconsin's reforms.

Wiseman currently (2011) is a resident consultant for the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and evaluation consultant for the Office of Program Development and Research in the Social Security Administration. At ERS he is working on the interaction of unemployment insurance benefits and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in supporting families made poor by job loss. He is engaged as well in improving coverage of SNAP use in various national surveys. At SSA his work is principally oriented toward disability issues.

Michael Wiseman's home page

Matthew J. Wiswall

Associate Professor
Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research
Department of Economics
University of Wisconsin–Madison
7442 Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-2326

  • Applied microeconomics
  • Applied econometrics
  • Labor economics
  • Education and demographic economics

Matthew Wiswall is an applied mircoeconomist whose research centers on the study of human capital. His work aims to understand how individuals acquire human capital and to inform public policies that affect the distribution of skills and abilities in the population. He has studied human capital formation in the household, focusing on child development, parental income, and family structure; and among children in schools at various levels (primary, secondary, and post-secondary). While human capital is the focus of Wiswall's research, much of his work situates the human capital formation process within the labor market, studying the joint determination of human capital, labor supply, and earnings. He utilizes a range of techniques to study these issues, including causal inference/program evaluation methods, field and laboratory experiments, and economic theory-based structural estimation. Wiswall is Associate Editor of both Quantitative Economics and Journal of Business and Economics Statistics and is a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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John Witte

Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Public Affairs
Department of Political Science
University of Wisconsin–Madison
217 North Hall
1050 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-2414

  • School choice
  • Public policy and administration
  • Organizational theory

John Witte was director of the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs from 1999 to 2002. He served as executive director of the Governor's Commission on the Milwaukee Metropolitan School System, and as independent evaluator of the Milwaukee School Choice Program. His book The Market Approach to Education: An Analysis of America's First Voucher Program appeared in 1999.

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Barbara L. Wolfe

Richard A. Easterlin Professor of Public Affairs, Economics, and Population Health Sciences
Department of Population Health Sciences
University of Wisconsin–Madison
706B WARF Building
610 North Walnut Street
Madison, WI 53726-2336
(608) 263-2029 or 262-0030

  • Determinants of success of young adults
  • Poverty and health issues; disability, children's health
  • Economic well-being of children
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Adequacy of savings of retired and disabled
  • Evaluation of S-CHIP, especially BadgerCare

Barbara Wolfe's recent research has addressed five main issues: the intergenerational determinants of success in young adults (with Robert Haveman and Gary Sandefur); the economics of disability; the adequacy of savings among the recently retired and disabled (with Bob Haveman and Karen Holden); and the effects of welfare reform. Work on the first topic has included the roles of family and neighborhood (including income and stress-related factors), and of state and community programs on the educational achievement of young adults. Research on the economics of disability has examined the incentive effects of disability-related transfer programs, the impact of poor health on wages and hours worked, and the role of Social Security in reducing poverty among the disabled. Wolfe's studies of welfare reform include work with IRP affiliates Cancian, Haveman, Kaplan, and Meyer on the economic well-being and labor force experience of former welfare recipients in Wisconsin. Current research focuses on the role of expansions in public health insurance on health care coverage and labor force outcomes. Wolfe is also examining the association of income and wealth with health, emphasizing trends over time and differences by race, and (with John Mullahy) is exploring trends in health across subpopulations in the United States, using a broad set of indicators of health and health-related behaviors. Wolfe's other research interests include the incentives of state-based TANF programs, measuring the wealth and economic well-being of recent retirees as well as the disabled, and private, employer-based provision of health insurance.

Barbara Wolfe's home page

Edward Nathan Wolff

Department of Economics
New York University
6th Floor
19 West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-8917

  • Distribution of income and wealth
  • Productivity growth
  • Input-output analysis

Edward Wolff's principal research areas are the distribution of income and wealth, and productivity growth. Wolff is the author of numerous books, including: Growth, Accumulation, and Unproductive Activity, 1987; Productivity and American Leadership (with W. J. Baumol and S. B. Blackman), 1989; Competitiveness, Convergence, and International Specialization (with D. Dollar), 1993; Top Heavy: A Study of the Increasing Inequality of Wealth in America, 1995; Retirement Insecurity, 2002; and Downsizing in America (with W. J. Baumol and A. S. Blinder), 2003. Edward Wolff is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a Senior Scholar at the Levy Institute where he leads the distribution of income and wealth program, and the Levy Institute Measure of Economic Well-Being (LIMEW) program. He is past managing editor of The Review of Income and Wealth. Wolff received an A.B. from Harvard College and a Ph.D. from Yale University.

Edward Wolff's home page

Erik Olin Wright

Director, A. E. Havens Center
Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin–Madison
8112D Social Sciences Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-2921

  • Cross-national study of class structure in industrial societies

Erik Olin Wright's current research relevant to poverty revolves around the general problem of class in contemporary capitalist societies and the nature of the class structure within which poverty is a central feature. He is currently working on a project exploring the changing pattern of the quality of job growth across employment expansions since the early 1960s, focusing specifically on the relationship between the expansion of good and bad jobs.

Erik Wright's home page

Lawrence Wu

Director, NYU Population Center
Department of Sociology
New York University
4106 Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 992-9565

  • Family structure and single motherhood
  • Nonmarital childbearing and the life course
  • Statistical methods

Lawrence Wu's current research interests include nonmarital fertility, life course transitions during early adulthood, and statistical methods. His research has investigated black-white differentials in nonmarital fertility and how changes in family structure during early life affect subsequent risks of a first out-of-wedlock birth, entry into sexual activity, and other fertility and family formation outcomes. He chairs the Technical Review Panel of the National Longitudinal Surveys, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Population Association of America.

Larry Wu's home page


Yang Sao Xiong

Yang Sao Xiong

Assistant Professor
School of Social Work and Asian American Studies Program
University of Wisconsin–Madison
310 School of Social Work
1350 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 263-6338

  • Political incorporation of immigrants
  • Poverty and health disparities
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Social mobility of immigrants

Yang Sao Xiong's research focuses on the socioeconomic mobility and political incorporation of immigrant groups in the U.S. His ongoing research examines the social determinants of health conditions, including chronic diseases, and health disparities within the Hmong American population in the U.S. in general and Wisconsin in particular.

Yang Sao Xiong's home page


John M. Yinger

Trustee Professor of Public Administration and Economics
Director, Education Finance and Accountability Program
Associate Director for Metropolitan Studies Program
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
Center for Policy Research
Syracuse University
426 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
(315) 443-9062

  • Housing and property taxes
  • Discrimination and segregation
  • Discrimination in mortgage lending
  • Fair housing and fair lending enforcement
  • State aid and local public finance
  • Education finance

John Yinger also directs the Education Finance and Accountability Program, which promotes research, education, and debate about fundamental issues in the elementary and secondary school system in the United States. Yinger studies racial and ethnic discrimination in housing and mortgage markets, as well as state and local public finance, particularly education. He has published widely in professional journals. His edited volume, Helping Children Left Behind: State Aid and the Pursuit of Educational Equity, appeared in 2004 and another book, The Color of Credit: Mortgage Discrimination, Research Methodology, and Fair Lending, Enforcement, co-authored with Stephen Ross, appeared in 2002. His 1995 book, Closed Doors, Opportunities Lost: The Continuing Costs of Housing Discrimination, won the 1995 Meyers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America. He served as senior staff economist in the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and has taught at Harvard University and the University of Michigan.

John Yinger's home page


James P. Ziliak

Professor and Carol Martin Gatton Endowed Chair in Microeconomics
Founding Director, University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research
Founding Executive Director, Kentucky Federal Statistical Research Data Center
Department of Economics
Director, Center for Poverty Research
University of Kentucky
Gatton Building, Suite 234
550 South Limestone Street
Lexington, KY 40506-0034
(859) 257-6902

  • Incentive and insurance effects of U.S. tax and welfare programs
  • Poverty measurement

James Ziliak served as assistant and associate professor of economics at the University of Oregon, and has held visiting positions at the Brookings Institution, University College London, University of Michigan, and University of Wisconsin–Madison. His research expertise is in the areas of labor economics, program evaluation, and tax and transfer policy. Recent projects include an examination of trends in earnings and income volatility in the U.S.; the effects of welfare reform on earnings of single mothers; regional wage differentials across the earnings distribution; and the geographic distribution of poverty under alternative poverty measures. He is editor of the book Welfare Reform and its Long Term Consequences for America's Poor published by Cambridge University Press (2009).

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