IRP Marks 40 Years, 1966–2006

Since 1966, researchers at the nation's first poverty research center, the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), have been studying the causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality in the United States and effective means for combating them.

Audience at the APPAM-IRP 40th Anniversary Sessions, November 3, 2006

Based at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, IRP is nonpartisan and nonprofit. Its objective is to increase the basic knowledge that shapes antipoverty policies by bringing together scholars of the highest caliber and offering them wide opportunity for interchange of ideas. The Institute provides researchers maximum freedom and facilitating service for their work.

IRP researchers represent a broad range of disciplines, including economics, social work, political science, public policy, law, and history. They are continuing a forty-year tradition of leadership in poverty research, introducing new scientific methods for measuring poverty and evaluating social welfare programs.

In the 1960s, Institute researchers launched the nation’s first major poverty-related research experiment, a national study of the Negative Income Tax. Subsequent research includes studies of welfare reform; child and family well-being; low-wage labor markets; nutrition, food assistance, and poverty; multiple-partner fertility; and the recently completed Child Support Demonstration Evaluation.

IRP observed its 40th anniversary with sessions featuring top poverty scholars reflecting on 40 years of poverty research and poverty policy in conjunction with the 28th annual research conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), November 2–4, 2006, at Madison's Monona Terrace Convention Center.

Photo caption: A standing-room-only crowd of nearly 350 persons listening to IRP's November 3, 2006, special sessions on poverty research and policy.
Photo credit: Institute for Research on Poverty photograph by Bob Rashid

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