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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

Announcement

New Paper from Previous Visiting Graduate Student Scholars
Moonlighting to the Side Hustle: The Effect of Working an Extra Job on Household Poverty for Households With Less Formal Education

Congratulations to previous participants in our Visiting Graduate Student program on the publication of their paper. Kathryn Edwards, Jennifer Scott, and Alex Stanczyk met in 2014 through the Center for Poverty and Inequality Research’s Visiting Graduate Student program. They recently published “Moonlighting to the Side Hustle: The Effect of Working an Extra Job on Household Poverty for Households With Less Formal Education,” a paper they began working on during our program. Read the paper published in Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services below.

Article

Closing California’s Digital Divide: One Rural Teacher’s Fight to Get Her Students Connected
The work of Former UC Davis student and affiliate is highlighted by KQED

KQED
September 22, 2020

Third grade teacher Alena Anberg cruised down Highway 99 in her Ford F-150, past acres of almond orchards that split the terrain just outside her hometown of Arbuckle in Colusa County. She grew up in this town of 3,000 and knows the back roads well, which helped as she made several stops to deliver iPads, laptops and old smart phones with SIM cards installed to turn them into Wi-Fi hot spots.

Announcement

Announcing the Center for Poverty & Inequality Research

Our Center was founded in 2011 as one of three federally designated Poverty Research Centers. As our Center has grown over the past nine years, so too has our research agenda, expanding beyond a strict focus on poverty to include overlapping dimensions of social and economic inequality. Today, Center affiliates’ research contributes to our understanding of the causes and consequences of, and solutions to, economic disadvantage as it relates to race and ethnicity, geospatial context, gender, immigrant status, and disability.

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:

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. 

Meet the Researchers

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

Jasmine E. Harris
Professor of Law

Jasmine E. Harris earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and her A.B. from Dartmouth College.  Professor Harris’s research focuses on the role of disability rights in the overall antidiscrimination agenda.  She uses procedural laws and interdisciplinary research to consider how law can advance social norms of disability.  Her articles have appeared in such leading legal journals as the Columbia Law Review, New York University Law Review, Ohio State Law Review, and American University Law Review.  Professor Harris is also a faculty affiliate of the Aoki Center on Race and Nation Studies. 

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
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

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 & Inequality

Marianne Page is a Professor of Economics and 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 Register for Zoom Meeting Details

Panel Discussion: Race and Class Inequalities in Higher Education

This event will allow attendees to engage in cutting edge research on important issues related to race, ethnicity, and economic inequality in higher education. The panel will include research on the college admissions process, affirmative action policies, and college persistence.

Panelists Include:

Zachary Bleemer, UC Berkeley

Edelina Burciaga, University of Colorado Denver

Commands