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Overview

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

Article Cassandra Hart

Exposure to teachers of same race benefits low-income children
New York Times features work by CPR Faculty Affiliate Cassandra Hart

September 10, 2018

CPR Faculty Affiliate Cassandra Hart’s work on teacher-student race and academic outcomes featured in the New York Times.  From the article:

“When black children had a black teacher between third and fifth grades, boys were significantly less likely to later drop out of high school, and both boys and girls were more likely to attend college….The effect was strongest for children from low-income families.”

Article Leah Hibel

Trump has Traumatized Thousands of Children: Now We Have a Responsibility
A Sacramento Bee Op-Ed by Leah Hibel and Andrea C. Buhler-Wasserman

immigrant children in settlement

June 20, 2018

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.

Post

Low-income Families are Getting Terrible Financial Advice Online
Ann Huff Stevens Quoted in Market Watch on Common Misconceptions About Poverty

people standing in line

Market Watch, April 3, 2018

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.

Current Research

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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:

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. 

Article

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

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

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.

Profile

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.

Profile

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
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 Director, Center for Poverty Research

Marianne Page is a Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Poverty 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 worked on various issues related to the U.S. safety net, education, and gender.  Her research has appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, and the Journal of Labor Economics.

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
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
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 Andrews Conference Room, 2203 SS&H

Childhood Family Structure, Education, and Intergenerational Income Mobility
Ryan Finnigan, Assistant Professor of Sociology, UC Davis

Despite evidence that children from low-income families without two parents are doubly disadvantaged, a growing body of research on the interactive role of childhood family structure for intergenerational mobility finds the opposite—differences in adult attainment by childhood family structure are greatest among those with the most advantaged parents. This study examines: (1) how children’s educational attainment varies by childhood family structure and parental income; and (2) how much these education differences account for lifelong income disparities by childhood family structure.

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