The costs of child poverty are high. Children living in poverty are less likely to achieve in school, more likely to eventually drop out of school, be a teen parent and end up in jail. Understanding whether these behaviors are due to poverty or the myriad of other factors related to poverty (like growing up with a single parent) is challenging yet critical for effective policy making. These days poverty is more complicated than ever: The safety net has expanded over the past decade as have financial supports for the working poor, but these benefits have become increasingly employment-based as the job market has dramatically shrunk. These circumstances have contributed to unprecedented economic instability for low income families many of whom have few compensating resources to buffer against economic shocks.
My research aims to create new insights and shape our knowledge about the lives of the poor that will best inform policy, drawing on disciplinary perspectives and methodological approaches from economics, the behavioral sciences, and child development.