Our Mission

The UC Davis Center for Poverty Research 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


Single Mothers are not the Problem
A New York Times Op-Ed by David Brady, Ryan M. Finnigan and Sabine Hubgen

Image of children and mothers

February 10, 2018

No group is as linked to poverty in the American mind as single mothers. For decades, politicians, journalists and scholars have scrutinized the reasons poor couples fail to use contraception, have children out of wedlock and do not marry.

The reality, however, is that single motherhood is not the reason we have unusually high poverty in the United States, compared with other rich democracies. 


DACA recipients saw their mental health improve. Now, advocates fear its end will have the opposite effect
Caitlin Patler interviewed by PRI's The World

PRI’s The World, November 22, 2017

In March, researchers at the University of California published a pioneering study that links the “legitimizing effect” of the DACA program with participants’ improved psychological well-being in California. The state has, by far, the largest population of beneficiaries, 223,000 people out of nearly 800,000 DACA recipients nationwide.


Why Big Medicare and Medicaid Cuts Are Likely
Forbes reports on likely changes to Medicare under the Trump Administration

Medicare woman in doctor office

The widely expected passage of the tax reform bill will almost undoubtedly cause significant harm to Medicare. And provocative statements by President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan declaring that “entitlement reform” will be next threatens Medicaid. Put these two together and, I think, one thing is clear: Big Medicare and Medicaid cuts are coming.

Current Research

Post Caitlin Patler

From Undocumented to Lawfully Present: Do Changes to Legal Status Impact Psychological Wellbeing among Latino Immigrant Young Adults?
Caitlin Patler (Affiliate in Sociology)

Exclusionary immigration policies have led to a sizeable undocumented population that is largely barred from access to resources in the United States, however there is little research that looks at the impact of legal status on immigrants’ psychological wellbeing. 


Exposure to Same-Race Teachers and Student Disciplinary Outcomes for Black Students in North Carolina
Constance A. Lindsay, American University and Cassandra M. D. Hart, University of California, Davis

Girl at the chalkboard

In this paper Constance Lindsay and Cassandra Hart find consistent evidence that exposure to same-race teachers is associated with reduced rates of exclusionary discipline for Black students.

Meet the Researchers


Brendan Price
Assistant Professor of Economics

Brendan Price is an Assistant Professor of Economics at UC Davis. Price completed his PhD in Economics at MIT, where he specialized in labor economics and public finance. His research explores the labor market impacts of technology and trade, the consequences of being laid off, and how public policies can help workers, their families, and their communities recover from job loss. In published and ongoing work, he is analyzing how competition from Chinese imports has affected US workers and firms.


Jennifer Falbe
Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Human Development

Dr. Falbe’s research focuses on studying programmatic, policy, and environmental interventions to prevent chronic disease and reduce health disparities. Dr. Falbe led an evaluation of the nation’s first soda tax in Berkeley, California. Her research has also examined primary care nutrition and physical activity interventions for youth, healthy retail programs, and multi-sector community interventions to prevent obesity. Dr. Falbe received a dual doctorate in Nutrition and Epidemiology in 2013 from Harvard University.


Ann Huff Stevens
Professor of Economics and Deputy Director, Center for Poverty Research

Ann Huff Stevens is Deputy Director of the Center for Poverty Research and Professor of Economics at UC Davis. 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.

Her current work examines returns to vocational education programs, the dynamics of EITC eligibility, and long-term effects of labor force non-participation. 

1153 Social Sciences and Humanities Bldg
Davis, CA
(530) 754-1576

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

Marianne Page
Professor of Economics and Director, Center for Poverty Research

Marianne Page is 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

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

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

Michal Kurlaender
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

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

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

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

Cassandra Hart
Associate Professor of Education

Cassandra Hart is associate professor of education policy. She evaluates the effects of school, state and national education programs, policies, and practices on overall student achievement, and on the equality of student outcomes.  Hart’s recent work has focused on school choice programs, school accountability policies, early childhood education policies, and effects on students of exposure to demographically similar teachers.  She is also interested in the effects of virtual schooling on student outcomes, both in K-12 and post-secondary settings.

(530) 752-5387

Scott E. Carrell
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

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

Event 2203 SS&H, Andrews Conference Room

Scarcity in the Land of Plenty: Healthcare in California’s San Joaquin Valley
Michelle Ko, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences

Michelle Ko is a faculty affiliate and member of the Center for Poverty Research Executive Committee. Dr. Ko looks at how policy, healthcare, and our social structure are interconnected,  and their impacts on disadvantaged communities. She has conducted research on a variety of topics, including the healthcare safety net, Medicaid, long-term care, access to healthcare for minority populations, diversity in medical education, and the healthcare workforce.