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.
Among OECD countries, the United States has fallen from 1st (in 1990) to 9th (in 2016) in terms of the percentage of working age individuals with a bachelor’s degree. This makes interventions that promote college attendance in the U.S. a top policy priority. The benefits of a college education are widely known.
Center for Poverty Research (CPR) Director Marianne Page and Faculty Affiliate Marianne Bitler will present their research this month at the Institute for Research on Poverty’s (IRP) annual summer research workshop. Each June the workshop brings together poverty scholars at all stages in their careers to present their research on low-income populations.
Young, undocumented Latino immigrants face many challenges in the United States. Undocumented Latino youth are less likely to graduate from high school and attend college than native-born youth and are more likely to live in poverty and report clinical levels of depression. Our research examines the impact of changes in legal status related to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Latino immigrant young adults in California, with a focus on distress and psychological wellbeing.
Last week the deputy director and four faculty affiliates of the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research (CPR) presented their research at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA) in Denver. Their papers were among those selected from a pool of 4,000 submissions for 254 oral sessions that represent the interdisciplinary nature of population research and cover diverse population issues.
When measured relative to median income, poverty in the United States, at 16.3 percent, is much higher than in many industrialized, democratic countries. To explain this, scholars, politicians, and the public often focus on the risks of poverty. Risks are characteristics more common among the poor than the non-poor, like low education, unemployment, single motherhood, or young age of the head of household. In a study I conducted with David Brady and Sabine Huebgen, we found that the cause of relatively high poverty in the U.S.
Losing a parent is one of the most profound stressors a child can experience; it threatens the child’s safety and causes a heightened state of “fight or flight.” This type of stressor rapidly increases the child’s heart rate and blood pressure. Stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol flood the system. Fear and panic take over. Decades of science suggest that these separations are traumatic and likely to cause lifelong mental and physical health problems.
There’s plenty of financial advice available for people with a little extra money to spend — put more money in your 401(k), create a rainy-day fund, start planning for your child’s college education. But where do you go for tips if you’re struggling to make ends meet?
Ann Huff Stevens of the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research points out that advice often given to the poor tends to miss the mark and doesn’t address some of the root causes that push people into poverty and keep them there.
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.
Although a growing number of studies suggest that providing poor families with income supplements of as little as $1,000 per year will improve children’s well-being, many poor children miss important sources of income support provided through the tax system because their parents either do not work or do not file taxes. Accessing assistance through means-tested programs is also challenging.
Do mothers’ biological responses to stress transfer to her child? This is a question addressed in a recently published study by Leah Hibel of UC Davis and Evelyn Mercado of UCLA. Though prior reports have shown that mothers help their children regulate distress through calming and soothing, there are few studies that examine the ways in which a mother facing stress might transmit stress to her child. This study shows that mothers transmit stress to their infants and that mothers’ emotions appear to play a role in this transmission.
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.
Noli Brazil received his doctorate in Demography from the University of California Berkeley in 2013, and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Ecology. His research and teaching interests focus on the causes and consequences of neighborhood inequality. Current research projects include examining the interactions between neighborhoods and schools, understanding the determinants of residential mobility and attainment during young adulthood, and Hispanic US internal migration.
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.
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 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.
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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 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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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Jennifer Doleac is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and Founding Director of the Justice Tech Lab. Professor Doleac is also a Nonresident Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, a research affiliate at the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities, and a research fellow at IZA.