These briefs are short and informative analyses of our research
relating to poverty policies. Policy Briefs deliver our
cutting-edge research directly to policy makers, researchers, and
stakeholders in an accessible format.
In recent years, ethnic concordance—matching the ethnicity of
healthcare workers to that of their patients—has been promoted as
an important measure for achieving “patient-centered care” for
minority patients in the U.S.
Health problems, such as diabetes, are often considered the
result of either genetics or individual choices. In fact, our
network of family, friends and co-workers can have a major impact
on how we measure and manage our health.
For decades, high school students have taken technical training
classes that prepare them for jobs, but little research has
examined the impact these classes have on whether those students
go to college.
Smaller classes help students, many argue, especially those most
“at risk.” Research shows that on average this is true. However,
when “risk” is defined beyond ethnicity or socioeconomic status,
the picture of who most benefits becomes less clear.
Research suggests that violence and low academic performance in
public schools play a big role in a family’s decision to use
state-funded vouchers to send their children to a private school.
However, little research has considered the impact of nearby
private and public school markets.
Transitions into and out of poverty often happen after major
events such as marriage, divorce, or changes in income. They are
also associated with economic factors, such as unemployment rates
or wages. Understanding the impacts of each can show the
difference between short-term, circumstantial poverty and
longer-term poverty associated with more permanent limitations on
earnings, employment and family structure.
For an extended period now, U.S. farms have enjoyed an abundance
of workers from Mexico who work for stable or decreasing real
wages. However, since 2008 the overall number of these farm
workers, both these working in the U.S. and those who remain in
Mexico, has shrunk substantially.
One in five children in the United States is the child of
immigrants. These new Americans, most of whom are U.S. citizens,
are more than twice as likely as children of natives to have no
health insurance. Prior research has shown that differences in
income or employment between native and immigrant parents do not
account for the disparity in coverage.
Those who come to the United States looking for work compete with
some groups of native-born workers but complement others. Since
wages and the local poverty rate play a part in how many arrive,
it is a challenge to quantify the effect they in turn have on
both, and whether they push native workers below the poverty
Linking income and health has been a notorious challenge for
researchers. With multiple sources of income such as earnings,
cash transfer and near cash transfer programs, it is difficult to
isolate their effects on health. The 1993 expansion to the Earned
Income Tax Credit (EITC), the largest and most recent of federal
expansions to date, provided researchers a unique opportunity.