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Poverty Research & Policy

90 EpisodesProduced by Institute for Research on PovertyWebsite

The Poverty Research & Policy Podcast is produced by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) and features interviews with researchers about poverty, inequality, and policy in the United States.

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Hope Harvey on Doubled-Up Households

December 6th, 2022


In this episode, we hear from Hope Harvey about doubled-up households in the United States and why she thinks we should be paying more attention to …

Jamein Cunningham on How Segregation Affects Homicide Rates

November 21st, 2022


High levels of segregation can have significant impacts on communities and the individuals living in them. New research uses railroad tracks as a measure of segregation and overlays data on homicide deaths to determine …

Nidia Bañuelos on Valuing the Skills and Assets of Lower Income and Underrepresented College Students

October 26th, 2022


In this episode, we hear from Nidia Bañuelos about how we can better value and measure the assets that college students from low income and …

David Brady on Labor Unions and U.S. Poverty

October 11th, 2022


Labor unions receive relatively little attention in U.S. poverty research and our guest for this episode, Professor David Brady, says that this is an unfortunate omission. His research in a paper with Tom VanHeuvelen

Joseph Mullins on Valuing Parental Time and Children's Development in the Design of Cash Transfer Programs

September 15th, 2022


When it comes to cash transfer programs like welfare for single parents and especially mothers, most of the evaluation and economic modeling efforts have focused on how those programs impact the amount of paid work …

Nick Hillman on the Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Act

August 31st, 2022


The Biden administration's plan to alleviate federal student loan debt has the potential to reduce the debt of approximately 43 million Americans, and almost half of those borrowers will have their debt forgiven …

Casey Stockstill on Economic and Racial Segregation in Preschools

July 25th, 2022


For this episode, we hear from Dr. Casey Stockstill about research she did to better understand economic and racial segregation in preschools. Dr. …

Kathryn Edin on the 25th Anniversary of Making Ends Meet

June 15th, 2022


2022 marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low Wage Work, by Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein. The book was based on interviews with low-income single moms …

Zawadi Rucks-Ahidiana on Race and the Financial Toolkit

June 2nd, 2022


Where we get information about money and how to manage it can have long-lasting impacts on financial security and wealth accumulation. While there …

Brieanna Watters and Robert Stewart on Native Americans and Monetary Sanctions

May 16th, 2022

In this episode of the Poverty Research & Policy Podcast, we hear from Brieanna Watters and Robert Stewart about a paper they coauthored* on …

José Pacas on the Puzzle of Measuring Rural Poverty in the Supplemental Poverty Measure

April 29th, 2022


In this episode, we hear from José Pacas about data challenges involved in measuring rural poverty in the Supplemental Poverty Measure or SPM and how …

Whitney Gent on How Homelessness is Portrayed in Movies and Why it Matters

March 21st, 2022


People experiencing homelessness are more often part of the background in movies than featured as the protagonists. But when they are the focus of a film, the ways that they and those who feel moved to help them are …

Lindsey Bullinger on Evaluating Risk of Child Maltreatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 2nd, 2022


When the pandemic hit, many people who study child maltreatment, abuse, and neglect were worried that some children might be at greater risk due to …

Prentiss Dantzler on the Concept of Who Deserves to Have Access to Public Housing

February 7th, 2022


In this episode, we hear from Professor Prentiss Dantzler about how perceptions of who lives in public housing – and who deserves that type of support – have developed over the past century, and how that has affected …

Quentin Riser on Family Income Instability and How it Might Affect Kids' School Readiness

January 20th, 2022


In this episode, we hear from Dr. Quentin Riser about how family income instability in early childhood affects children's school readiness and later …

Andrea Elliott and Darcey Merritt in Conversation about Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival Hope in an American City

January 13th, 2022

IRP recently had the privilege of hosting New York Times reporter and author Andrea Elliott and NYU Professor of Social Work Darcey Merritt for a …

Anna Gassman-Pines on Early Impacts of the Pandemic for Parents in Service Occupations

December 20th, 2021

When the pandemic hit the United States in March of 2020, Anna Gassman-Pines and her colleague Elizabeth Ananat were already conducting a text …

Amy Castro On Early Results From Guaranteed Income Programs

December 15th, 2021

For this episode of the Poverty Research and Policy Podcast, we hear from Professor Amy Castro about the concept of Basic Income, and what she and …

Amelie Hecht on Universal Free School Meal Programs

November 29th, 2021


In this episode we hear from Dr. Amelie Hecht about universal free school meal programs and how the pandemic may have shifted the outlook for this …

Juan Pedroza on Immigrant Health, Place, and the Pandemic

November 17th, 2021


For this episode of the Poverty Research and Policy Podcast, we hear from Juan Pedroza about immigration in the United States, the COVID-19 Pandemic, …

Judi Bartfeld on Food Insecurity Rates and the Increase in SNAP Benefits

October 15th, 2021


In this episode, Judi Bartfeld shares how the COVID-19 pandemic, and the social safety net’s response to it, has affected food insecurity in the United States. She also explains how the permanent increase in SNAP …

Mustafa Hussein on the Broader Effects of Local Living Wage Ordinances

September 30th, 2021


In this episode, Mustafa Hussein talks about living wage ordinances that were passed in the 1990s and 2000s in cities across the United States. These ordinances were only directed at relatively small groups of lower …

J. Michael Collins on whether allowances help to develop financial capability

September 13th, 2021


In this episode, we hear from  IRP Affiliate J. Michael Collins, Professor of Public Affairs and Consumer Science at UW-Madison and the director of …

Adrian Huerta on the School Experiences of Gang-Associated Youth

July 1st, 2021


In this episode we hear from Adrian Huerta of the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Huerta shares his research …

Maia Cucchiara on the Hidden Curriculum of Parenting Education

June 15th, 2021


For this episode, we hear from Maia Cucchiara, a professor of Urban Education at Temple University. She talks about low-income mothers’ experiences with parenting education courses, which are designed to teach parenting …

Andria Smythe on the College Outcomes of Young Adults in a Recession

May 17th, 2021


There's a sort of conventional wisdom that during recessions, more  people enroll in college or stay in college longer when jobs are scarce. But it's …

Katherine Magnuson on the American Families Plan and Child Care as Infrastructure

May 7th, 2021


In this episode, we hear from IRP Director Katherine Magnuson about components of the just-released American Families Plan. Magnuson discusses parental leave, funding for child care, universal pre-kindergarten, and …

Kathryn Anne Edwards on Women Leaving the Labor Force in the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 8th, 2021


A striking number of women, and especially moms, have left the U.S. labor force since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. In this podcast episode, labor economist Kathryn Anne Edwards talks about some of the patterns …

Chloe Gibbs on Full-Day Kindergarten and its Impact on Academic Achievement

March 11th, 2021


In the last few decades, there has been a major expansion in the number of states and localities offering full-day kindergarten. In this podcast …

Timothy Smeeding on Proposals for a Refundable Monthly Child Tax Credit

March 5th, 2021


In this episode, Timothy Smeeding talks about proposals from Senator Mitt Romney and from Democratic leadership for a fully refundable monthly child …

Jacob Faber on How a New Deal Era Program Shaped America's Racial Geography

February 17th, 2021


In this episode we hear from Jacob Faber of New York University about a federal government program called the Home Owners' Loan Corporation that started in the 1930s and how the decisions made in that program promoted …

Pamela Oliver on What the Numbers Say About How to Reduce Imprisonment, Part 2

February 1st, 2021


The goal of reducing incarceration has been gaining traction for at least the last decade in the United States. In an interview we did with …

Pamela Oliver on What the Numbers Say About How to Reduce Imprisonment, Part 1

January 25th, 2021


The goal of reducing incarceration has been gaining traction for at least the last decade in the United States. In an interview we did with …

Carolyn Heinrich on Whether the Labor Market Offers the Same Credit for Online Learning

January 11th, 2021


In this episode, Carolyn Heinrich of Vanderbilt University talks about a study she conducted with Jennifer Darling-Aduana, Annalee Good, and Huiping …

Eric Chyn on the Impacts of Removing Children from Abusive or Neglectful Homes

August 14th, 2020


In this episode we hear from economist Eric Chyn about the impact of home removal—for reasons like neglect or abuse—on children’s later outcomes. In a paper he co-wrote with Anthony Bald, Justine Hastings, and Margarita …

Troy M. Williams and Simon Guma on Community Engagement and Institutional Change

July 16th, 2020


In this episode, IRP and Morgridge Center for Public Service media intern Simon Guma talks to Troy M. Williams. They discuss Williams' path to …

Stephanie Canizales on the Experiences of Undocumented and Unaccompanied Youth Workers

June 27th, 2020


In this episode, Stephanie Canizales of the University of California, Merced discusses her work talking to undocumented and unaccompanied youth workers in Los Angeles about their experiences and struggles with work and …

Mario Small on How Social Networks and Social Capital Matter for Human Services Programs

May 19th, 2020


Mario Luis Small of Harvard University talks about social networks and social capital and about some of his work looking at those things in the context of programs like Head Start.

Read the transcript at

Sarah Halpern-Meekin on Social Poverty

April 15th, 2020


This episode features Professor Sarah Halpern-Meekin, who discusses work from her 2019 book, Social Poverty. Halpern-Meekin is a sociologist at …

Peter Blair on Occupational Licenses and What They Signal in the Job Market

March 30th, 2020


In this episode, Peter Blair of Harvard University talks about a paper called “Job Market Signaling through Occupational Licensing” he wrote with Bobby Chung that looks at how licenses people need for jobs contribute to …

Jessica Calarco on Parents and the Power of Privilege in Schools

February 24th, 2020


We’ve all heard stories about the rise in helicopter parenting—parents who do their kids’ homework, drop off things at school for them that they’ve …

Angela Guarin: Do Low-Income Noncustodial Fathers Trade Earlier Families for New Ones?

February 12th, 2020


For this episode, we hear from Angela Guarin about a paper she wrote with Lonnie Berger, Maria Cancian, and Dan Meyer that tries to understand how low-income noncustodial fathers who have children in more than one …

Lars Højsgaard Andersen on the Consequences of Lowering Welfare Benefits for Migrants and Their Families

January 6th, 2020


For this episode, we hear from Lars Højsgaard Andersen of Denmark’s Rockwool Foundation about a policy change in Denmark that aimed to increase …

Michael Strain: The American Dream Isn't Dead

November 13th, 2019


This episode features Michael Strain, the Economic Policy Director at the American Enterprise Institute, who gave a talk at IRP earlier this year …

Leslie Hodges on Unemployment Insurance and Material Hardships

October 15th, 2019


In this episode, we hear from IRP postdoctoral scholar Leslie Hodges about the Unemployment Insurance program and how the program might mitigate …

Brian Thiede on the Rural Economy and Barriers to Work in Rural America

September 30th, 2019


There has been renewed interest in issues facing the U.S. rural economy in recent years. In this episode, Penn State sociologist and demographer …

Aaron Sojourner and Matt Wiswall on the Value of Investments in Quality Child Care

August 5th, 2019


In this episode, we hear from economists Aaron Sojourner and Matt Wiswall about the value of investments in quality child care and how we can think about tradeoffs when it comes to child care subsidies and related …

Damon Jones on Whether a Modest Basic Income Might Lead People to Work Less

July 18th, 2019


The idea of a universal basic income has been gaining traction in recent years, but we don’t have much evidence about what a large-scale universal …

Marci Ybarra on the Administrative Burdens of Research in Non-Profit Settings

May 28th, 2019


The concept of administrative burden focuses on how bureaucracy, complex paperwork, and confusing regulations can reduce the effectiveness of public …

Walter Stern on Race and Education in New Orleans: Creating the Segregated City

April 26th, 2019


In this episode, we hear from Walter Stern, an assistant professor in the History and Educational Policy Studies departments at the University of …

Maria Cancian and Dan Meyer on Final Results from the CSPED Impact Evaluation

March 14th, 2019


In this episode, Maria Cancian and Daniel Meyer discuss the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration or CSPED, a large, eight state experiment that aimed to see if a different approach to child support …

Jordan Conwell on Parental Income, Race, Gender, and Children's School Readiness

February 1st, 2019


In this podcast episode, sociologist Jordan Conwell of the University of Wisconsin-Madison talks about a study he did that aims to help us understand …

Lenna Nepomnyaschy on the Role of Fathers in Reducing Inequalities in Child Outcomes

January 15th, 2019


In this podcast episode, Lenna Nepomnyaschy of the Rutgers School of Social Work talks about a study she did with Dan Miller, Maureen Waller, and …

Jacob Bastian on the Real Costs of the EITC

November 27th, 2018


In this episode, Jacob Bastian of the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy discusses his research with the Census Bureau's Maggie …

Michael Light on Rates of Violence and the Consequences of Segregation

November 2nd, 2018


In this episode, University of Wisconsin-Madison sociologist Michael Light talks about a paper he co-authored with Julia Thomas looking at the …

Beth Vaade, Kerry Lawton, and Eric Grodsky on Research-Practice Partnerships in Education

September 7th, 2018


In this episode of the Poverty Research and Policy Podcast, Beth Vaade of the Madison Metropolitan School District, Kerry Lawton of the Wisconsin …

Heather Hill on Why Disruptions in Income Might Matter for Child Development

August 1st, 2018


In this podcast episode, Heather Hill of the University of Washington's Evan's School of Public Policy and Governance discusses her research on …

Maria Cancian On Changing Families And Changing Child Support Policies

July 5th, 2018


In this podcast episode, University of Wisconsin–Madison Professor of Public Affairs and Social Work Maria Cancian talks about the changing demographics of U.S. families and the challenges this creates for the child …

Kathleen Moore on the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Rental Market Discrimination

April 2nd, 2018


In this podcast episode, IRP National Poverty Fellow Kathleen Moore talks about the Housing Choice Voucher Program and her research about how …

Brad Wilcox On The “Success Sequence” For Millennials

March 5th, 2018


In this podcast episode, Brad Wilcox of the University of Virginia and the National Marriage Project talks about the "Success Sequence" and how, for …

Mustafa Hussein: Can Your Neighborhood Affect Your Health?

January 8th, 2018


In this podcast episode, Mustafa Hussein of the School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee discusses his research on how differences …

Robert Doar on A Safety Net That Works

December 1st, 2017


In this podcast episode, Robert Doar of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) discusses the AEI volume he edited called A Safety Net that Works and …

Claudia Persico on How Exposure to Toxic Waste Sites Before Birth Affect Children’s Development

November 1st, 2017


In this podcast episode, Claudia Persico, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Anaysis at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, …

Tashara Leak on Childhood Obesity in the United States

October 10th, 2017


In this podcast episode, Tashara Leak, an Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, discusses trends, health risks, and socioeconomic factors associated with childhood obesity as well as …

Jason Houle on Student Loan Debt and the Reproduction of Racial Wealth Inequality

September 1st, 2017


In this podcast episode, sociologist Jason Houle of Dartmouth College discusses the growth of student loan debt and its implications for racial and …

Julie Poehlmann-Tynan on Attachment Behaviors In Children With Incarcerated Fathers

August 1st, 2017


In this episode, child psychologist Julie Poehlmann-Tynan of the University of Wisconsin–Madison talks about a new study on attachment in children …

Scott Winship on Extreme Poverty after Welfare Reform

July 1st, 2017


In this podcast episode, Scott Winship discusses his research about poverty trends in the United States, arguing that welfare reform in 1996 did not lead to an increase in the numbers of those in extreme poverty and …

Abigail Sewell on Mortgage Markets And The Roots Of Racial Health Disparities

June 1st, 2017


In this podcast, Abigail Sewell of Emory University discusses her research on how political and economic processes underlying mortgage markets may be …

Joe Soss on How Governments and Corporations Made the Criminal Justice System Profitable

May 1st, 2017


In this podcast, Joe Soss of the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs discusses how criminal justice system practices including …

Harry Brighouse on the Costs of Raising a Child

April 3rd, 2017


In this podcast, University of Wisconsin–Madison philosophy professor Harry Brighouse discusses how to think about the costs of raising a child beyond traditional measures, illustrating what philosophers can do for …

Anna Gassman-Pines: Does the timing of SNAP benefits affect kids' performance on tests?

March 3rd, 2017


In this podcast episode, Anna Gassman-Pines of Duke University talks about a study she completed that links the timing of SNAP benefits in a …

Julien Teitler on how resources matter for health and quality of life

February 3rd, 2017


Columbia University professor Julien Teitler discusses a study he conducted with Melissa Martinson, Rayven Plaza, and Nancy Reichman about how income …

Nicole Deterding: Does it Matter Where You Get Your Two-Year Degree?

January 4th, 2017


In IRP’s 50th podcast episode, IRP National Poverty Fellow Nicole Deterding talks about research she and her colleague, David Pedulla of Stanford …

Tim Maloney on Using Predictive Analytics to Assess Risk for Child Maltreatment

December 5th, 2016


Tim Maloney of Auckland University of Technology’s Centre for Social Data Analytics talks about using administrative data to help child welfare …

Lorenzo Almada on Measuring the Effects of SNAP on Obesity

November 7th, 2016


Lorenzo Almada of Columbia University talks about a paper he co-wrote with Rusty Tchernis that examines whether SNAP, or food stamps, could lead to …

Steven Durlauf on Understanding Poverty and Inequality in the 21st Century

October 3rd, 2016


In this podcast, economist Steven Durlauf of the University of Wisconsin–Madison (edit: Durlauf is now at the University of Chicago) discusses how contemporary poverty and inequality in the United States are …

Tim Beatty: Do the Labels We Use for Public Benefit Programs Matter?

September 5th, 2016


In this podcast, economist Tim Beatty of the University of California, Davis talks about an article he co-wrote with Charlotte Tuttle about the SNAP or food stamps program and what happened to people’s spending when …

Scott Allard on the Suburbanization of U.S. Poverty

August 1st, 2016


In this episode, Scott Allard, a Professor at the University of Washington’s Evan’s School of Public Affairs, discusses his research on the growth of …

Chris Wildeman on Paternal Incarceration and What We Can Learn from a Danish Policy Shock

July 7th, 2016


In this podcast episode, Christopher Wildeman, an Associate Professor of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University, discusses his findings …

Alexes Harris on the Costs of Monetary Legal Sanctions for the Poor

June 6th, 2016


In this podcast episode, Alexes Harris, a sociologist at the University of Washington, talks about work from her 2016 book Pound of Flesh: Monetary …

Chris Herbst: Reassessing the Evidence on the Rising Costs of Child Care

May 3rd, 2016


In this podcast episode, Chris Herbst of Arizona State University discusses his research on changes in the cost of child care in the United States in recent decades. Despite reports of skyrocketing child care costs, …

Megan Reid on Cohabiting Stepfamily Formation for Low-Income Black Families

April 5th, 2016


This podcast episode features IRP National Poverty Fellow Megan Reid discussing her research on cohabiting stepfamily formation among low-income …

Susannah Camic Tahk on the Tax War on Poverty

March 7th, 2016


In this podcast, law professor Susannah Camic Tahk discusses the growth in U.S. antipoverty programs that are run through the tax code and what it …

Lincoln Groves: Does Child Medicaid Access Improve Long-Term Educational Outcomes?

February 1st, 2016


This podcast episode features Lincoln Groves, a postdoctoral scholar in the National Poverty Fellows Program, talking about his research on how …

Julia Isaacs on How the Safety Net Supported Kids with an Unemployed Parent During the Great Recession

January 4th, 2016


In this podcast episode, Urban Institute Senior Fellow and IRP visiting scholar Julia Isaacs talks about the effectiveness of safety net supports for …

Lisa Gennetian on Income Instability in the Lives of Hispanic Children

December 7th, 2015


In this episode, Lisa Gennetian of the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families discusses research about income instability in the …

Clare Huntington on the Mismatch Between Family Law and Nonmarital Families

November 9th, 2015


Our November 2015 episode features Clare Huntington, Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Law at Fordham University. In the podcast, Huntington discusses how family law and the related institutions that support …

Robert Vargas on the Persistence of Violence in Some Areas of Chicago

October 5th, 2015


Neighborhood violence is often talked about as being a result of poverty or random threat but, in this podcast, University of Wisconsin–Madison …

Lonnie Berger on the Academic Achievement of Children in Foster Care

September 7th, 2015


Does foster care lead to worse academic achievement for kids? In this podcast, Lawrence Berger discusses a Wisconsin study he conducted with other …

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