The Center for Poverty Research at UC Davis is one of three
federally designated centers whose mission is to facilitate
non-partisan academic research on poverty in the
U.S., disseminate this research, and train the next
generation of poverty scholars. Our research agenda
includes four themed areas of focus: labor markets and poverty,
children and intergenerational transmission of poverty, the
non-traditional safety net, and immigration.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention produce data on
health and healthcare in the United States. Their annual
statistical yearbook, Health, United States includes a variety of
tables with breakdowns by poverty status.
In 2011, their data for children under
18 with “no usual source of
4.7% of all children had
no usual source of healthcare; for
poor children the rate was
The U.S.D.A.’s Economic Research Service monitors the extent and
severity of food insecurity in U.S. households through a
supplement to the Current Population Survey. Responses to a
series of 18 questions are used to determine whether a household
is food insecure.
According to data from the Census Bureau, in 2012 47.3
million people under age 65 (18%) had no health insurance; 9%
of all children were uninsured and those ages 19-34
were least likely to be insured (27% uninsured).
While 8.9% of all children were
uninsured, the rate for
children in poverty was
12.9% as compared to 7.7%
of children not in poverty.
In 2012, 75.3 million workers (or 59% of all wage and salary
workers) in the United States age 16 and over were paid hourly
Among those 1.6 million workers earned
exactly the prevailing federal minimum
wage of $7.25 per hour. Another 2
million had wages below the federal
minimum. Together these workers make up
4.7% of all hourly paid workers.
The Center seeks applications from affiliated faculty researchers
interested in hiring a GSR (up to 50% time) for Summer 2014
and/or Fall 2014. The Center anticipates providing four to
eight graduate research assistant positions. Receipt of
research assistance funds is contingent on agreement by the
affiliated faculty member to write a two page policy brief based
on the funded project in collaboration with the research
The Center seeks proposals from affiliates conducting research
related to our core research areas:
In November 2013, the Center hosted the conference “The
Affordable Care Act & Low Income Populations: Lessons from
and Challenges for Research.”
This conference brought together a unique mix of researchers,
policy professionals and industry leaders to discuss what the new
law means for health care in this country, as well as its
possible impacts on domestic poverty.
In these pages, we have gathered conference presentations with
existing and new Center materials on U.S. health care including:
Audio recordings of conference presentations and panels, as
well as slides
Policy briefs on health care
Facts and figures, as well as links to outside sources, that
provide a clearer picture of health care in the U.S.
New articles that explore issues brought up during the
Central to our mission is the dissemination of poverty research.
We hope you will consider these pages a useful, ongoing resource
as we continue to add new work and research on health care in the
The Center for Poverty Research seeks applications from our
affiliated faculty members who are interested in working with an
undergraduate student on a poverty related research
project. The Center anticipates providing up to 8
undergraduate students with internships during summer 2014.
Dr. Chris Benner is an Associate Professor of Community and
Regional Development, and Chair of the Geography Graduate Group
at the University of California, Davis. His research
focuses on the relationships between technological change,
regional development, and the structure of economic opportunity,
focusing on regional labor markets and the transformation of work
and employment patterns.
Ann Huff Stevens is Director of the Center for Poverty Research
at UC Davis and Professor and Chair of the Department of
Economics. She studies low income workers and labor markets, the
incidence and effects of job loss, connections between economic
shocks and health, and poverty and safety-net dynamics.
1153 Social Sciences & Humanities Building
Gail Goodman received her degree in Developmental Psychology from
UCLA in 1977. Her areas of research expertise include welfare
recipients, foster care, and the intergenerational transmission
of attachment insecurity.
Marianne Page is Deputy Director of the Center for Poverty
Research. Her research includes inter-generational mobility and
the impact of social programs on children’s outcomes. Recent
projects include investigations of the causal relationship
between parental education and children’s success in school,
distributional effects of class size reduction policies, and the
impact of the WIC program on young children’s health.
1138 Social Sciences & Humanities Building
Leticia Saucedo received her degree, cum laude, from
Harvard Law School in 1996. Her research centers on employment
and immigration law, immigrants in low-wage workplaces and the
structural dynamics affecting their entry.
Lisa Pruitt’s areas of research 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.
Michal Kurlaender’s work focuses on education policy and
evaluation, particularly practices that address existing
racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequality at various stages of
the educational attainment process.
Ross A. Thompson’s research focuses on the applications of
developmental research to public policy concerns, including
school readiness and its development, early childhood
investments, and early mental health.
Dina Okamoto received her degree in Sociology from the University
of Arizona in 2001. Her poverty related research focuses on
interviews and ethnographic studies of low-income immigrant
families and their adaptation to life in the U.S.
2264 Social Sciences & Humanities Building
Kimberlee Shauman received her degree in Sociology, Population
Demography and Ecology from the University of Michigan in 1997.
Her areas of expertise include social stratification, family and
kinship, demography, sociology of education, and quantitative
2243 Social Sciences and Humanities Building
Paul Heckman received his degree in Curriculum and the Study of
Schooling from the University of California, Los Angeles in
1982. His research focuses on the educational ecology of
communities, school restructuring, and school culture, change and
Paul Hastings received his degree from the University of Toronto.
His research focuses on the impact of stressors on child and
adolescent well-being, and the effects of poverty on
physiological reactivity, regulation and development of mental
and physical health problems.
Rand Conger received his degree in Sociology from the University
of Washington in 1976. His research focuses on social and
economic stress; life course development; family interaction
processes; and family research methods.
When people visit with friends and neighbors in southern West
Virginia, where paved roads give way to dirt before winding
steeply up wooded hollows, the talk is often of lives that never
got off the ground.
“How’s John boy?” Sabrina Shrader, 30, a former neighbor, asked
Marie Bolden one cold winter day at what Ms. Bolden calls her
“little shanty by the tracks.”
Ask Anne Valdez what poverty means for her, and her answer will
describe much more than a simple lack of money.
“It’s like being stuck in a black hole,” says Valdez, 47, who is
unemployed and trying to raise a teenage son in Coney Island, New
York City. “Poverty is like literally being held back from
enjoying life, almost to the point of not being able to breathe.”
For years, researchers have complained that the way the
government measures income and poverty is severely flawed, that
it provides an incomplete — and even distorted — view.