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Overview

Our Mission

The UC Davis Center for Poverty & Inequality 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

Article

Chancell-ing: Finding solutions to help the unhoused
CPIR Referenced in Chancellor May's Monthly Column in the Davis Enterprise

December 2, 2022
The Davis Enterprise

By Chancellor Gary May

Homelessness is one of the most defining and troubling challenges of our times. According to a report by CalMatters, a nonprofit and nonpartisan news organization, about 173,800 unhoused people are living in California. That’s an increase of more than 22,000 since 2019.

CPIR Affiliates Featured in Office of Research Q&A on Inflation

December 2, 2022 – Three CPIR research affiliates have been featured in a new article in the ‘Ask the Expert’ series published by the UC Davis Office of Research.

The three experts are Professor of Economics Marianne Bitler, CPIR Director and Professor of Economics Marianne Page, and Professor of Economics Katheryn Russ.

Article Jacob Hibel

Pandemic learning loss in California: Who are the most impacted after COVID-19 forced virtual learning?
CPIR Co-Director Jacob Hibel quoted by KCRA

October 28, 2022
KCRA

A historic learning loss was reported this week, showing the impacts of virtual learning during the pandemic. Nearly 500,000 fourth and eighth graders took tests nationwide and while no single state saw an increase in test scores, Black and Latino students were hit the hardest.

California’s 2022 Smarter Balanced assessment from tests taken in the Spring of 2022 showed a decline in English Language Arts and Math score testing.

Results for Northern California school districts showed dips from 2.91% to 8.18%.

Current Research

Post J. Paul Leigh

New Paper Published by Affiliate J. Paul Leigh
American Journal of Epidemiology
July 2020

Invited Commentary: Methods for Estimating Effects of Minimum Wages on Health

Abstract: 

UC Network on Child Health, Poverty, and Public Policy

The goal of this UCOP-funded pilot program on Child Health, Poverty and Public Policy is to lay the foundation for a UC-wide network of scholars who are committed to rigorous cross-training in multiple disciplinary-specific skills and “languages” that are necessary to produce a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms by which health and nutrition programs (e.g.

Post

Cash for Kids
Marianne P. Bitler, Annie Laurie Hines, Marianne Page (Affiliates in Economics)

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.

Post Leah Hibel

Marital Conflict Predicts Mother-to-Infant Adrenocortical Transmission
Leah Hibel (Affiliate in Human Ecology)

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. 

Summary:

Meet the Researchers

Profile

Katheryn Russ
Professor of Economics

Katheryn Russ has expertise in open-economy macroeconomics and international trade policy. She is a faculty research associate in the National Bureau of Economic Research International Trade and Investment Group and Co-Organizer of the International Trade and Macroeconomics Working Group. She is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and served as Senior Economist for International Trade and Finance for the White House Council of Economic Advisors 2015-16.

(530) 752-9241
Profile

Faheemah N. Mustafaa
Assistant Professor of Education

Dr. Faheemah N. Mustafaa is an assistant professor of education and member of the Education and Human Development graduate groups. She earned a Ph.D. in Education and Psychology and M.A. in Higher Education at the University of Michigan. Broadly, her research aims to improve education and well-being outcomes among youth from historically marginalized communities, with a focus on racial-ethnic, gender, and economic marginalization.

Profile

Robert Faris
Professor of Sociology

Robert Faris uses social network analysis to investigate how health risk behaviors, including bullying, dating violence, substance use, and delinquency, spread through social ties and are structured in the  social hierarchies of schools. His recent work shows that adolescents bully their own friends, as well as schoolmates with whom they share friends, to achieve higher social status, and examines the moderating role of network stability in this dynamic. 

Profile

Rose Kagawa
Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine

Rose Kagawa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Kagawa conducts research on violence prevention and firearm policy and has particular interest in understanding how social and environmental contexts influence violence perpetration and victimization through the life course.

Profile

Lauren Au
Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Dr. Au’s research involves the assessment of dietary intakes and the food environment for the prevention of obesity in low-income, racially diverse infants and children. Her focus is on understanding how to promote healthier eating and prevent obesity in federal nutrition assistance programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and the National School Lunch Program.

3215 Meyer Hall
Profile

Noli Brazil
Assistant Professor of Community & Regional Development

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.

Profile

Jennifer Falbe
Associate 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.

Profile

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
Profile

Marianne Page
Professor of Economics and Co-Director, Center for Poverty & Inequality

Marianne Page is a Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Center for Poverty & Inequality Research at UC Davis.  She has authored numerous scholarly articles focusing on low-income families.  A labor economist, she is an expert on intergenerational mobility and equality of opportunity in the United States.  She has also published on issues related to the U.S.

1138 Social Sciences & Humanities Building
Davis, CA
(530) 554-4940
Profile

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
Profile

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
Profile

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
Profile

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
Profile

Paul Hastings
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
Profile

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
Profile

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
Profile

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 Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts

Chancellor’s Colloquium With Sister Simone

A religious leader, author and social activist, Campbell devoted her career to using tax law to benefit the underserved. “It’s about caring for those who are most often left out,” she said. “From a young age, I just had this idea that you had to act. You had to step in and fix things.”

Shortly after graduating from the School of Law, she founded the Oakland Community Law Center, which provided legal services on a sliding-fee scale.