University of Wisconsin–Madison

Poverty and Geography Research Network

This network explores links among geographic location, poverty, and inequality; deep and concentrated poverty in diverse contexts; interactions between race and geography/location with respect to poverty; locational approaches to addressing poverty and inequality.

Co-Leads

Scott Allard

sallard@uw.edu

Scott Allard is a professor of public affairs at Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, and co-primary investigator of the Family Self-Sufficiency Data Center at the University of Chicago. His primary areas of research expertise are urban poverty, employment among low-skill workers, food security, safety net utilization, and the spatial accessibility of governmental and nongovernmental safety net programs. His current projects include work with the Michigan Recession and Recovery and the Seattle Minimum Wage Study, a multi-faceted evaluation of the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance.

Michael Stoll

mstoll@ucla.edu

Michael Stoll is Professor in the School of Public Affairs, and Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Urban Poverty, at UCLA. His research interests include the study of urban poverty and inequality, and crime and prisons. His published work includes an examination of the labor market difficulties of less-skilled workers, in particular the role that racial residential segregation, job location patterns, job skill demands, employer discrimination, job competition, transportation job information and criminal records play in limiting employment opportunities. His current research examines the labor market consequences of mass incarceration, the prison boom in the U.S., the social and economic consequences of urban sprawl, and auto insurance premiums and traffic patterns in metropolitan areas.

Members

Uma Ahluwalia

Uma S. Ahluwalia is a Principal at Health Management Associates. She previously served as director of the Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Health and Human Services. During her 12-year tenure she led implementation of the Affordable Care Act, oversaw the move to a more integrated and interoperable health and human services enterprise, and managed public-private partnerships and programs. Over a 25-year career in human services, she has progressively moved from case-carrying social work to executive leadership at the state and local levels.

Alan Berube

Alan Berube is senior fellow and deputy director at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. In this role he coordinates and amplifies research from across Brookings Metro on how to strengthen economic opportunity in regions, cities, and communities. He has also authored dozens of Brookings publications on economic and demographic trends in metropolitan areas, social policies affecting families and communities, and the role of cities in a globalizing economy. Prior to joining Brookings in 2001, Alan was a policy advisor in the Office of Community Development Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department, and a researcher at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Camille Busette

Camille Busette is director of the Brookings Race, Prosperity, and Inclusion Initiative and a senior fellow in Governance Studies, with affiliated appointments in Economic Studies and Metropolitan Policy. Busette has dedicated her career to expanding financial opportunities for low-income populations. She has previously held roles at the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Center for American Progress, and at EARN, a provider of micro savings services to low income families in the U.S. Her private sector experience includes roles as the Deputy Director of Government Relations for PayPal, the Head of the Consumer Data Privacy function at Intuit, and the Director of the Consumer and Market Research division at NextCard.

Laura Dresser

Laura Dresser is Associate Director of COWS (Center on Wisconsin Strategy) and is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Macropractice at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Social Work. Dresser is a labor economist and expert on low-wage work and workforce development systems, and has written about ways to build stronger labor market systems and worked extensively with labor, business, and community leaders in building them. Laura has also written about low-wage jobs, care work,  inequality, and labor market reform. A co-editor of The Gloves-Off Economy: Workplace Standards at the Bottom of America’s Labor Market, she is currently working issues on the connections between quality care, quality jobs, and minimum wages.

Jacob William Faber

Jacob William Faber is an assistant professor of sociology and public service at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. His research and teaching focuses on spatial inequality; specifically, the mechanisms responsible for sorting individuals across space and how the distribution of people by race and class interacts with systems to create and sustain economic disparities. He leverages observational and experimental methods to study the mechanisms responsible for this sorting and how the distribution of people by race and class interacts with political, social, and ecological systems to create and sustain economic disparities. A new project will analyze how, due to widening inequality, the financial risks of homeownership and educational attainment—two pathways to economic mobility—may be most severe for low-income persons.

David Grusky

David Grusky is Barbara Kimball Browning Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Director of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, and coeditor of Pathways Magazine. His research addresses the changing structure of late-industrial inequality and addresses topics including the role of rent-seeking and market failure in explaining the takeoff in income inequality, the amount of economic and social mobility in the U.S. and other high-inequality countries, the role of essentialism in explaining the persistence of extreme gender inequality, the forces behind recent changes in the amount of face-to-face and online cross-class contact, and the decline of big social classes. He is also involved in projects to improve the country’s infrastructure for monitoring poverty, inequality, and mobility by exploiting administrative and other forms of “big data” more aggressively.

Paul Jargowsky

Paul A. Jargowsky Professor of Public Affairs at Rutgers University-Camden. His principal research interests are inequality, the geographic concentration of poverty, and residential segregation by race and class. Jargowsky has been involved in policy development at both the state and federal levels. In 1993, he was a Visiting Scholar at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where he helped design the simulation model used for welfare reform planning. In 1986, he was the Project Director for the New York State Task Force on Poverty and Welfare Reform. Jargowsky has also been involved as a consultant and expert witness in fair housing and school desegregation litigation. His current areas of research include racial and economic segregation, the impacts of economic and spatial inequality, and the consequences of exclusionary suburban development patterns.

Elizabeth Kneebone

Elizabeth Kneebone is the Research Director for the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley. Elizabeth’s research expertise includes trends and dynamics in the geographic concentration and distribution of poverty in the United States, and how the built environment, housing, and land use policies shape access to economic opportunity. Before joining the Center, Elizabeth was a Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, where most recently she led the Program’s work on regional solutions to increase and diversify housing options in higher opportunity and priority redevelopment areas. She also has researched and written extensively on urban and suburban poverty, and is co-author of the book Confronting Suburban Poverty in America (Brookings Press, 2013).

Daniel Lichter

Daniel T. Lichter is the Ferris Family professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Professor of Sociology, and the Robert S. Harrison Director of Cornell’s Institute for the Social Sciences. He has published widely on topics in population and public policy, including studies of concentrated poverty and inequality, intermarriage, cohabitation and marriage among disadvantaged women, and immigrant incorporation. His recent work has focused on changing ethnoracial boundaries, as measured by changing patterns of interracial marriage and residential segregation in the United States. Lichter is a past president of the Population Association of America (2012) and the Rural Sociological Society (2010–11).

Art McCoy

Art McCoy is Superintendent of Schools at Jennings School District (Jennings, Missouri), President and Founder of SAGES (Severing the Achievement Gap in The Education of Students) Consulting, and an associate adjunct professor of education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He has previously served as Chief Academic Officer at the Center of Innovations in Education DBA Base 11 and at MIND Research Institute. He serves on several boards, including for the Greater St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, and Ranken Technical College Board of Trustees.

Joe Neri

Joe Neri is president and CEO of IFF, a community development financial institution (CFDI) based in the Midwest. Neri leads a staff of over 90 loan officers, project managers, owners representatives, developers, researchers, and other professionals. After joining IFF in 1997, Neri created the Real Estate Services and Research divisions. Before joining IFF, Neri was associate director of The Resurrection Project, a nationally recognized Chicago community development corporation that he helped to create. Neri serves on the boards of the Housing Partnership Network and Acción Chicago. He also sits on the Community Advisory Committee of the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

Lisa Pruitt

Lisa Pruitt is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis. Her research interests include legal and policy implications of income inequality along the rural-urban continuum and legal aspects of declining mobility, with an emphasis on diminishing access to higher education. Her most recent work considers how rural spatiality inflects dimensions of gender, race, and ethnicity. In it, she challenges the association of the rural with the local by revealing the ways in which rural lives and rural places are enmeshed with national and global forces including legal ones.

Laura Tach

Laura Tach is an Associate Professor of Policy Analysis and Management and Sociology (by courtesy) at Cornell University. She is a sociologist who studies urban poverty and family life. Her mixed-methods research examines how neighborhoods and families reproduce inequality and how public policy affects these processes. Her two main areas of research focus on how neighborhood inequality has changed as a result of housing policies designed to deconcentrate poverty and the family structure and economic coping strategies of the urban poor. Tach’s recent projects have examined child wellbeing in unstable and complex families, the dynamics of father involvement following nonmarital births, and how families view and use the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).