UC Davis Experts: Poverty and Economics

University of California, Davis, experts are available for comment on a variety of aspects related to poverty and its affects. UC Davis facilities can accommodate live or recorded television and ISDN radio interviews for a nominal fee.

Labor markets and Poverty

Ann Huff Stevens is the director of the Center for Poverty Research and a professor of economics. She is a labor economist and specializes in transitions into and out of poverty, the relationship between job loss and health, the relationship between aggregate unemployment rates and mortality, the minimum wage, and the labor market returns from technical and vocational education. Contact: Ann Huff Stevens, Center for Poverty Research, annstevens@ucdavis.edu.

Victoria Smith is professor and chair of the Department of Sociology. Her research focuses primarily on changes in work and employment relationships, with an eye toward how these changes create and perpetuate distinct forms of inequality and destabilization for American workers. Her policy brief (http://bit.ly/1kGhWIn)  for the Center for Poverty Research describes how low-wage jobs can prevent workers from increasing their human capital that could lead to better-paying jobs. Contact: Victoria Smith, Sociology, vasmith@ucdavis.edu.

Immigration and Poverty

Kevin R. Johnson is the dean of the UC Davis School of Law and professor of Chicana/o Studies. He can speak about immigration, race and class, and public benefits. Johnson’s latest book, Immigration Law and the US-Mexico Border (2011), received the Latino Literacy Now’s International Latino Book Awards – Best Reference Book.  Dean Johnson blogs at ImmigrationProf (http://bit.ly/1M6bWc7) and is a regular contributor on immigration on SCOTUSblog (http://www.scotusblog.com/). Contact: Kevin Johnson, School of Law, krjohnson@ucdavis.edu.

Giovanni Peri is professor and chair of the Department of Economics. He can discuss immigration policies, immigration’s impact on the economy, labor markets, income distribution and the movement of workers both internally and across international borders. He is the director of the Temporary Migration Cluster, an interdisciplinary group studying how international movements of people are driven by economic, demographic, political, historical and social causes and how they reshape the economies and societies of countries in which they settle. Contact: Giovanni Peri, Economics, gperi@ucdavis.edu.

Safety Net Programs

Marianne Bitler is a professor of economics. Her research measures the impact of various government safety net programs, including TANF, SNAP, WIC and the ACA. She is a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, and she is currently serving on the Institute of Medicine's Panel to Review the WIC Package. She recently co-authored a major study for the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project about how well TANF responded for families in poverty during the Great Recession. Contact: Marianne Bitler, Center for Poverty Research, bitler@ucdavis.edu.

Education and Poverty

Paco Martorell is an assistant professor of education. His research focuses on education policy and the value of education in the labor market. His current research explores whether potential employers prefer for-profit college or community college graduates, as well as the effects of automatic college admissions for the top 10 percent of high school graduates in Texas. He is also exploring new ways to place entering community college students into developmental courses to understand how to help them progress more quickly to higher-level coursework. Contact: Paco Martorell, UC Davis School of Education, pmartorell@ucdavis.edu.

Marianne Page is a professor of economics and deputy director of the Center for Poverty Research. She specializes in inter-generational mobility and the impact social programs have on children. Recent projects include investigations of the relationship between parents’ education and children’s success in school, how class-size reduction policies affect students, and the impact the WIC program has on young children’s health. She wrote a policy brief (http://bit.ly/1a1Mp17) for the Center for Poverty Research that describes how smaller class size yields higher test scores among young children. Contact: Marianne Page, Center for Poverty Research, mepage@ucdavis.edu.

Child Poverty

Paul Hastings is interim dean of the UC Davis School of Education, and former chair of the psychology department. He studies child and adolescent development, parenting and family relationships, and biological processes. In particular, he can speak about the ways in which biological and environmental factors shape how children develop emotionally and socially, both in terms of normal and maladaptive development. He co-authored a policy brief (http://bit.ly/1O6Wn2p) for the Center for Poverty Research that describes how poverty during childhood and adolescence can predict long-term health. Contact: Paul Hastings, UC Davis School of Education, pdhastings@ucdavis.edu.

Ross Thompson is a distinguished professor of psychology. His research focuses on how to apply developmental research to public policies that include school readiness and its development, early childhood investments and early mental health. He can also speak about early parent-child relationships, the development of emotional understanding and emotion regulation, conscience development and the growth of self-understanding in young children. He wrote a policy brief for the Center for Poverty Research (http://bit.ly/1CHvS2X) that describes how poverty and depression affect a child’s social and emotional competence. Contact: Ross Thompson, Psychology, rathompson@ucdavis.edu.

Amanda Guyer is an associate professor in the Human Development and Family Studies Unit of the Department of Human Ecology. She is a developmental psychologist with expertise in the biological, cognitive and social-emotional aspects of human development during adolescence. She can speak about adolescent brain development, psychopathology (anxiety, depression, substance use), social and emotional development, the influences of parents and peers, stressful life events and the experience of poverty. Contact: Amanda Guyer, Human Ecology, aeguyer@ucdavis.edu.

Rural Poverty

Lisa Pruitt is a professor of law. Her research focuses on the legal and policy implications of rural poverty, poverty and race, and poverty and place, as well as how the intersection of poverty and rurality affects women’s access to abortion. She can also speak about income inequality along the rural-urban continuum and declining mobility with an emphasis on diminishing access to higher education. Pruitt blogs about rural legal issues at http://legalruralism.blogspot.com/. Contact: Lisa Pruitt, School of Law, lrpruitt@ucdavis.edu.

J. Edward Taylor is a professor of agricultural economics. He can discuss farm labor, internal and international migration, economic development, population and resources and labor economics. He can also discuss the impacts of immigration and other policy reforms on the supply of labor to U.S. farms and the economic welfare of California farm workers and the communities in which they live. He wrote a policy brief (http://bit.ly/1tfSyMd) for the Center for Poverty Research that describes the economic factors of a sharp anticipated decline in the supply of farm workers from Mexico. Contact J. Edward Taylor. Agricultural Resource Economics, taylor@primal.ucdavis.edu.

Media Resources

Kimberly Hale, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-752-9838, klhale@ucdavis.edu

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