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 August eight students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) concluded a seven-week, intensive research program through the University of California, Davis Summer Poverty Research Engagement Experience (UCD-SPREE). Under the auspices of the program, UCD faculty provide mentorship and guidance to a select group of students to conduct research and prepare for the rigors of doctoral programs.
The interdisciplinary course will provide background on poverty statistics, theories and evidence on the causes and consequences of poverty, and the history and efficacy of major anti-poverty programs in the United States.
In a stark reminder of the damage done by the Great Recession and of the modest recovery that followed, the median American household only last year finally earned more than it did in 1999 and in effect boosting more people out of poverty.
Five days earlier, his mother had spent the last of her disability check on bologna, cheese, bread and Pepsi. Two days earlier, he had gone outside and looked at the train tracks that wind between the coal mines and said, “I don’t know how I’m going to get out of this.” One day earlier, the family dog had collapsed from an unnamed illness, and, without money for a veterinarian, he had watched her die on the porch. And now it was Monday morning, and Tyler McGlothlin, 19, had a plan.
Both proposed versions of the Republican health care bill—the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)–create an option for states to receive Medicaid funds in the form of a block grant (in the BCRA, the Medicaid Flexibility Program). The lessons from welfare reform can provide valuable insights into the potential impact of Medicaid block grants: namely, states may have a considerable incentive to pursue block grants, because they pose an attractive opportunity to cut state spending and allocate Medicaid dollars for other uses should the state desire that outcome.
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.
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 educatoin 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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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Melissa S. Kearney is a Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland. She is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); a non-resident Senior Fellow at Brookings; a scholar affiliate and member of the board of the Notre Dame Wilson-Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO); and a scholar affiliate of the MIT Abdul Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and co-chair of the J-PAL cities and states initiative.