Our Mission

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.

In the News


A Study of the 1.5 Million American Households With Practically No Income at All
By Rebecca J. Rosen
The Atlantic
September 11, 2015

When Americans talk about the failings of the country’s economy, the focus is usually on inequality—the uneven distribution of prosperity among the population. Poverty, on its own terms, receives less attention.

That’s not the case in a necessary new book by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America. In it, they report on the roughly 1.5 million households that are surviving on cash incomes of practically nothing and not much in the way of government assistance.


How Incarceration Impacts Prisoners’ Children
Capital Public Radio INSIGHT
July 28, 2015

In 2010, an estimated 2.7 million children and one in nine African-American children had an incarcerated parent. Now, consider new research from the UC Davis Poverty Center that finds children whose parents are in prison have worse health, poorer school performance and are at a greater risk for depression, anxiety, asthma and HIV/AIDS. The UC Davis report finds that a parent’s incarceration has long-lasting effects on his or her children.

Article Ann Huff Stevens

Minimum wage debate restarts in Sacramento
Center Director, Ann Stevens, is interviewed by News 10

News 10, January 30, 2015

In his State of the City speech Thursday night, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said he wanted to put together a task force to look at raising the minimum wage in the capital city.

Currently, the city’s minimum wage is the same as California’s state minimum wage — $9 per hour. In 2016, it will increase to $10 per hour. But some cities across the nation, such as San Francisco and Seattle, have sought higher minimum wages for their workers.

Meet the Researchers

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Chris Benner
Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz

Dr. Chris Benner is the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, Director of the Everett Program for Digital Tools for Social Innovation, and a Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  His research examines 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.

(530) 574-7585
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Ann Huff Stevens
Professor of Economics and Director, Center for Poverty Research; Interim Dean, Graduate School of Management

Ann Huff Stevens is Director of the Center for Poverty Research at UC Davis, Professor in the Department of Economics, and Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Management. 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.

3108 Gallagher Hall
Davis, CA
(530) 752-7366
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Gail Goodman
Distinguished Professor of Psychology

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.

152 Young Hall
Davis, CA
(530) 752-6981
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Marianne Page
Professor of Economics and Deputy Director, Center for Poverty Research

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
Davis, CA
(530) 554-4940
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J. Edward Taylor
Professor of Agricultural & Resource Economics

J. Edward Taylor received his degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics from UC Berkeley in 1984. His research interests include economic development, immigration, and rural poverty.

2107 Social Sciences & Humanities Building
Davis, CA
(530) 752-5614
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Leticia M. Saucedo
Professor of Law

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.

2123 King Hall
Davis, CA
(530) 752-3426
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Lisa R. Pruitt
Professor of Law

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.

1111 King Hall
Davis, CA
(530) 752-2750
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Michal Kurlaender
Associate Professor of 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.

127 School of Education Building
Davis, CA
(530) 752-3748
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Ross A. Thompson
Distinguished Professor of Psychology

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.

279 Young Hall
Davis, CA
(530) 754-6663
Profile War on Poverty Conference
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Douglas Miller
Associate Professor of Economics

Doug Miller received his degree in Economics from Princeton University in 2000. His research examines the impact of economic forces, social policy, and the environment on health.

1151 Social Sciences & Humanities Building
Davis, CA
(530) 752-8490
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Ming-Cheng Lo
Professor of Sociology

Ming-Cheng Miriam Lo’s poverty related research focuses on the health care experiences of low-income immigrants. 

2266 Social Sciences and Humanities Building
Davis, CA
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Kimberlee A. Shauman
Professor of Sociology

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 methodology. 

2243 Social Sciences and Humanities Building
Davis, CA
(530) 297-8072
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Philip Martin
Professor Emeritus, Agricultural and Resource Economics

Philip Martin received his degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1975. His research focuses on: immigration, farm labor, and economic development.

2101 Social Sciences & Humanities Building
Davis, CA
(530) 752-1530
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Paul Heckman
Associate Dean and Professor of Education

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 cognition. 

121 School of Education Building
Davis, CA
(530) 752-8309
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Paul Hastings
Chair and Professor of Psychology

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.

283 Young Hall
Davis, CA
(530) 297-4438
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Cassandra Hart
Assistant Professor of Education

Cassandra Hart’s research focuses on state and national education policies, and school-choice policies and their effects on student outcomes.

(530) 752-5387
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Rand Conger
Distinguished Professor of Human and Community Development and Psychology

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.

1361 Hart Hall
Davis, CA
(530) 754-7357
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Scott E. Carrell
Associate Professor of Economics

Scott Carrell’s research focuses on the effect of school inputs, peer effects and barriers to college.

1148 Social Sciences & Humanities Building
Davis, CA
(530) 752-5480
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Giovanni Peri
Professor of Economics

Giovanni Peri received his degree in Economics from UC Berkeley in 1998. His research focuses on the determinants of international migrations and their impact on labor markets, productivity, and investments.

1140 Social Sciences & Humanities Building
Davis, CA
(530) 554-2304

Upcoming Events

Image of  Employment, Earnings and Inequality: Realities and Opportunities in Low Wage Labor Markets

Employment, Earnings and Inequality: Realities and Opportunities in Low Wage Labor Markets

This conference will present both quantitative and qualitative research on questions related to low wage labor markets.  A wide variety of topics will be covered including: wage trends and shifts in occupations, policies that enhance wages (such as the minimum wage and the earned income tax credit), issues related to immigration and mobility among low-skilled workers, and issues related to stigma and identity among low-skilled workers.

Please RSVP by Friday, October 9, 2015