University of Wisconsin–Madison

Poverty, Tax, and Transfer Policies Research Network

This network explores the role of tax and transfer policies in encouraging labor market participation, reducing poverty, and supporting healthy, stable families; the role of tax and transfer policies in job creation and stimulating demand for labor.


Bradley Hardy

Bradley Hardy is an Associate Professor of Public Administration and Policy and nonresident senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. His research interests lie within labor economics, with an emphasis on economic instability, intergenerational mobility, poverty policy, and socio-economic outcomes. His research examines trends and sources of income volatility and intergenerational mobility within the United States, with a focus on socio-economically disadvantaged families, and the role of anti-poverty transfer programs such as SNAP and the EITC.

James Ziliak

James Ziliak is the Carol Martin Gatton Endowed Chair in Microeconomics, Founding Director of the Center for Poverty Research, and Founding Executive Director of the Kentucky Federal Statistical Research Data Center at the University of Kentucky. His research interests are in the areas of labor and public economics, with a special emphasis on U.S. tax and transfer programs, poverty measurement and policy, food insecurity, and inequality. Recent projects include trends in earnings and income volatility; the origins of persistently poor regions in America; and the effect of survey nonresponse on the level and trends in poverty and inequality.


Christopher Brown

Christopher Brown is Financial Policy Director at PolicyLink, where he leads policy efforts pertaining to banking, financial inclusion, and political activation. He currently focuses on local, state, and nationwide strategies that enhance economic mobility, and serves as the Co-Chair of the Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility—a national coalition focused on equitable tax reform. He previously served as Counsel to the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, and as Legislative Director on the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Jeremie Greer

Jeremie Greer is Vice President of Policy & Research at Prosperity Now. In this role, Jeremie oversees Prosperity Now’s Federal Policy, Applied Research and Racial Wealth Divide teams, which are responsible for developing and executing the organization’s policy and research agendas and advocacy strategies. Prior to joining Prosperity Now, he was a Senior Policy Officer at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Senior Analyst at the Government Accountability Office, and provided support to community-based organizations in the District of Columbia.

Sarah Halpern-Meekin

Sarah Halpern-Meekin is Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a sociologist who studies romantic relationships and welfare policy using a mixed-methods approach. Her current research includes examining how premarital experiences are associated with later relationship outcomes; how government-funded relationship education programs are experienced by their participants; and how changes to the welfare state, like the rise of the Earned Income Tax Credit, affect low-income families.

Hilary Hoynes

Hilary Hoynes is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy and holds the Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities at the University of California Berkeley. Hoynes specializes in the study of poverty, inequality, food and nutrition programs, and the impacts of government tax and transfer programs on low income families. Current projects include evaluating the effects of the access to the social safety net in early life on later life health and human capital outcomes, examining the effects of the Great Recession on poverty and the role of the safety net in mitigating income losses, and estimating the impact of Head Start on cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes.

Melissa Kearney

Melissa Kearney is a Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland, a non-resident Senior Fellow at Brookings; a scholar affiliate and member of the board of the Notre Dame Wilson-Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO); and a scholar affiliate of the MIT Abdul Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and co-chair of the J-PAL cities and states inititative. Kearney’s research focuses on issues of social policy, poverty, and inequality. Many of her papers examine the effect of government programs and economic conditions on the behaviors and outcomes of economically disadvantaged populations.

Elaine Maag

Elaine Maag is a senior research associate in the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where she studies income support programs for low-income families and children, with an emphasis on tax policy. Maag codirected the creation of the Net Income Change Calculator, a tool that allows users to understand the trade-offs between tax and transfer benefits, and changes in earnings or marital status. She is currently serving as a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance’s Study Panel on Universal Family care. Previously, she worked at the Internal Revenue Service and Government Accountability Office as a Presidential Management Fellow.

Bruce Meyer

Bruce D. Meyer, the McCormick Foundation Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, studies poverty and inequality, tax policy, and government safety net programs such as unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, food stamps, and Medicaid. His most recent work includes research on trends in poverty and inequality, the consequences of disability, the effects of Medicaid, and the accuracy of household surveys. Meyer has also served as an advisor to numerous federal agencies and other prominent public and private organizations.

Robert Moffitt

Robert Moffitt is the Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Economics at Johns Hopkins University. His research interests are in the areas of labor economics and applied microeconometrics, with a special focus on the economics of issues relating to the low-income population in the U.S.. A large portion of his research in labor economics has concerned the labor supply decisions of female heads of family and its response to the U.S. welfare system. Moffitt has also published research on other safety net programs, the labor supply and family structure effects of social insurance programs, and the U.S. income tax system.

Angela Rachidi

Angela Rachidi is the founder of Rachidi Research and Consulting, LLC, with over 15 years experience in conducting public policy research. She is an expert in safety net programs for low-income families, including TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, child support enforcement, and child care. She studies the effects of tax policy and other benefit programs on low-income American families, including the earned income tax credit and child tax credit. Previously, she served as a Senior Research at Mathematica Policy Research, a research fellow in poverty studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and Deputy Commisioner for Policy Research and Evaluation for New York City’s Human Resources Administration during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Administration.

Aaron Yelowitz

Aaron Yelowitz is a Professor of Economics at the University of Kentucky and the Director of the John H. Schnatter Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise. He is also a joint faculty member in the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky and an adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute. He conducts extensive research in the area of health care, including Medicaid managed care and the Affordable Care Act. Other recent research topics include housing and real estate markets, life insurance, racial disparities, paid sick leave, property taxes, and state-run automatic IRAs.