Poverty Research and Policy

Institute for Research on Poverty

A monthly podcast from the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison featuring interviews with researchers about poverty, inequality, and social policy in the United States.

All Episodes

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 kind of program. Dr. Hecht is a fellow in the IRP National Poverty Fellows Program where she is in residence at the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation at the federal Administration for Children and Families.  Transcript:  Dave Chancellor: Hello, and thanks for joining us for the Poverty Research and Policy podcast from the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. I’m Dave Chancellor for this episode. We’re going to be talking to Dr Amelie Hecht about universal free school meals and how the pandemic may have shifted the outlook for this kind of program as we look ahead. Dr. Hecht is a fellow in the IRP National Poverty Fellows program, where she’s in residence at the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation at the Federal Administration for Children and Families. She completed her Ph.D. in Health Policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2020. And we’re just really grateful to be able to talk to her about this. Let’s turn to my interview with Dr. Hecht. Chancellor: You wrote your dissertation on Universal Free School Meals, and this has become a big thing, especially kind of since the start of the pandemic. And just to make sure we’re thinking about this in the right way, could you explain how a universal free school meal set up is different from what we might think of as a traditional school meal funding? Amelie Hecht: Yeah, absolutely. So traditionally, the school meal program is in part a means tested program. And what that means is that under the traditional school meal reimbursement model, families complete an annual application with information about their household income, and kids are then eligible to receive a free meal if their family’s household income is below 130 percent of the federal poverty level. It’s about an annual income of thirty-four thousand dollars for a family of four, and then a child can also receive a reduced price meal, which means they pay about 40 cents for lunch if their household income is between one hundred and thirty and one hundred and eighty five percent of the federal poverty level. And then, of course, any other student didn’t qualify for free or reduced price. Meals can also buy a meal, which cost somewhere around a dollar, fifty for breakfast and 250 for lunch, so still relatively low cost. But a school that offers universal free meals offers free meals to all students, regardless of their household income. So those schools no longer collect individual household application forms. All students just get free meals, and in most schools in the U.S., they offer universal free meals through a federal provision called the Community Eligibility Provision. And that’s a provision that’s available to schools in high poverty areas. Chancellor: The timing of you finishing your dissertation coincided really closely with the start of the pandemic back in early 2020. And I guess out of necessity, this was kind of a sea change when it came to universal free school meals because they have this rate. Basically, the USDA gave school districts a waiver that allowed them to offer free breakfasts and lunches to all students. Is that right? Can you tell us about this? Hecht: Yeah, that’s exactly right. So, prior to the pandemic, it was mostly just these schools in high poverty areas that were offering these universal free meals through that provision that I mentioned, for the most part, the community eligibility provision. But when the pandemic began, Congress recognized that schools needed more flexibility to ensure kids were getting fed and that the need for school meals was really increasing dramatically because people were losing their jobs and facing other economic hardship. Congress authorized the USDA, the US Department of Agriculture, to issue these nationwide waivers that allowed schools to serve universal free meals to all students. And that authority has been extended through the end of the current academic year, which is June of 2022. And that waiver has been really hugely helpful to schools and families. It’s meant that schools most schools in the US have been serving free meals to all kids, which is really important at a time when families are facing hard economic times and also schools are facing hard economic times. Chancellor: As a parent, this program was actually really valuable to my family, especially during the months when my kids were doing remote schooling. Our district encouraged parents to sign up for lunch pickup, and honestly, it better lives measurably better. During that time, we were saving money. There was a steady supply of pretty healthy food coming into our house, and it was just a significant time savings for my wife and I as we were both working. Is this kind of what you’ve heard elsewhere? Hecht: Yeah, I think I think what you’re saying is what we are hearing from families all across the country. We know that the free meals help kids in and families in all kinds of ways. It saves families money. It saves families time not having to pack those school meals. And we also know that school meals are on average healthier than the meals that kids pack at home and bring to school anyway. So, it makes sure that kids are eating relatively healthy meals for the most part. And it also really helps a lot of those families that are right on that line, the families who don’t qualify necessarily for free or reduced-price meals, but still sometimes find it hard to afford groceries from week to week or may have lost jobs because of the pandemic. So, I think it’s been hugely helpful to families across the country. Chancellor: But you’ve been studying Universal Free School meals since well before the pandemic. And you know, in your research, what are some of the areas you’ve looked at to understand, I guess, the impact of universal free school meals or just how these programs work? Hecht: Yeah, so I’ve done research, both looking at the implementation of universal preschool meal policies and their impacts on students and some of the research that I’ve done looking at impacts just looks across the sort of the whole body of literature that’s been produced so far on universal free meals. And so, you know, looking across that body of literature in the U.S., we see that universal free meals have a lot of benefits for families, for students, for schools. You know, first, we know that universal free meals really achieve their primary goal, which is increasing meal participation rates. More kids are eating school meals. We also see improvements in academic performance, which is not really surprising because we know kids do better in school when they don’t come to school, hungry when they’re not hungry in class and during test times. And we also see some improvement in diet quality. And that’s likely because school meals, as I said before, are healthier on average than the meals that kids pack at home and bring to school. And really importantly, we actually see benefits for kids who qualify for free and reduced-price meals before. But we also see improvements for kids who didn’t qualify, who are above those income thresholds before, but are now participating in school meals. And then, in addition to helping kids, universal free meals have a lot of benefits for schools. They help reduce the administrative burden that schools face. Schools no longer need to process those meal application forms that I was talking about. They don’t need to track families or kids down to make sure that they fill out those forms, and they also don’t have to track student lunch charges or unpaid meal debt. And we know that was a really hot topic in the past few years. You know, it’s the idea that when kids don’t have enough money to afford the school meal, that the school will either provide them a cold cheese sandwich or they’ll send them home with a letter that says that they need to pay their meal debts. And, you know, schools are no longer responsible for doing that because all the kids are getting their free meals. I did interviews with food service staff at schools offering universal free meals in Maryland, and they really highlighted for me how that change that elimination of school meal debt and meal training really improved staff morale among food service staff because they no longer needed to track kids down or not give kids the hot meal. They also talked about how it reduced financial stress for parents and it reduced student stigma because all the kids were now eating the school meal, not just not just the students who were singled out for being low income and needing to rely on that school meals. So, a lot of benefits across the board. Chancellor: So, you know, I mentioned earlier that we had received outreach from our kids’ school district about this program, encouraging us to sign up, and they were kind of really direct in their messaging. They said, you know, please sign up even if you’re not struggling to pay for meals. If more families sign up, our cost per meal will be lower and we can offer better quality food. And I think they’re kind of a couple of things going on here. But you know, one, I know you’ve written about how messaging and communication with parents and students can be important in these programs. So, what can you tell us about that? Hecht: Yeah, I think getting parents on board with these programs is really important to their success. Schools that serve universal free meals want to encourage as many kids to participate as possible because it does reduce the cost of producing meals per student. A lot of their production costs are fixed costs, and so the more kids that participate, the lower per meal cost it is for the school. So, they really do want as many kids to participate as possible. And so, getting families and parents on board is important. I think some ways that schools have been successful in communicating to parents is sharing at back-to-school nights, sharing through letters to parents and sharing at school board meetings as well, and communicating the benefits to parents of participating in this formula. Sort of all the things I talked about earlier that improved academic performance, sometimes better attendance rates. Other on-time grade promotion. Other outcomes like that. So, I think that’s been hugely helpful to families. And I think one important thing that we’re dealing with right now is that a lot of schools are asking families to fill out what are called alternative income forms. These are forms where families share information on their household income, and they’re really important because they give schools this critical data that that schools then use to apply for and receive funds. Is from the federal government, from the state government and also private foundations and other grant making bodies, and historically schools got it on household income from those free and reduced-price meal applications, and they used that date, as I said, to apply for different funding. But with universal free meal programs in place, they no longer collect those free and reduced-price meal applications. And they’re now needing to ask families to fill out these alternative income forms. And it can be challenging for schools to get good data from those forms because parents have less incentive to fill out those forms because they aren’t directly linked to whether or not their kids get a free meal. But those forms are really important for schools to get other kinds of funding to provide high quality education for students. So, schools are really working hard to communicate the importance of filling out those forms to parents. And I guess I’ll also call to action to parents to please fill out those forms. If you’re asked because those forms are so important for your families, for your kids to get high quality funding for her education program. Chancellor: It seems like there’s been some traction for continued universal free school meals nationwide or at least across more districts beyond the expiration of the current USDA waivers. And you know, I know in the last few months a few states have passed their own Universal Free School meal programs, and New York City, if I’m right, has had a universal free school meals for a few years now. So, you know, what do you see going forward? What do you kind of looking at here? Hecht: Yeah, this is really exciting for me and for other researchers and advocates and policymakers in this space. The pandemic, I think, is really highlighted the importance of school meals for kids. And now that schools have been offering universal free meals for two years, it’s going to be really hard for schools to go back at the end of the year and take that away from families at the state level. Yeah. Both Maine and California have passed laws authorizing universal free meals starting next school year. And at the federal level, there has been some discussion about national universal free meal programs or at least expanding the community eligibility provision. That provision that I mentioned earlier that authorizes universal free meals for schools in high poverty areas. And you have we’re seeing a big policy shift here, this policy window to get these things passed, and I’m actually just starting a new policy analysis study where we’re going to actually look very closely at Maine and California to try and understand what the critical ingredients were that allowed them to get those state policies passed. And we’re going to try and tease out lessons that advocates and other policymakers in other states and maybe a federal level can use to pass similar legislation elsewhere. I think universal free milk programs are here to stay in some way or another because of what the pandemic has done in highlighting for us that the importance of school meals. Chancellor: I so appreciate you taking the time to talk to us about this. You know, I learned a lot and I’m just really grateful for this interview. Hecht: Thanks so much for the opportunity. It was great to discuss this. Chancellor: Thanks again to Amelie Hecht for taking the time to talk to us. The production of this podcast was supported in part by funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. But its contents don’t necessarily represent the opinions or policies of that office, any other agency of the federal government or the Institute for Research on Poverty. Music for the episode is by Martin de Boer. Thanks for listening.

Nov 29

14 min 30 sec

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, and how place matters when it comes to thinking about immigrant health. Pedroza is an Assistant Professor of Demography, Migration and Inequality in the Sociology Department at the University of California Santa Cruz and was a fellow in IRP's Emerging Poverty Scholars Program. You can find more of Professor Pedroza's work at www.socialdemography.xyz/ and follow him on twitter at @ijuanathesaurus If you would like to connect with other resources from the Institute for Research on Poverty, sign up for our email lists.

Nov 17

24 min 8 sec

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 benefits that took effect October 1, 2021, fits into the larger picture of ensuring that people have consistent access to nourishing foods. Dr. Bartfeld is a professor in the School of Human Ecology at UW-Madison and is also a food security research and policy specialist in the Division of Extension at UW, and is an IRP faculty affiliate.

Oct 15

26 min 35 sec

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 wage workers in these cities, but Dr. Hussein and his team set out to see if these smaller ordinances would have larger impacts on these local labor markets. Dr. Hussein is an assistant professor of health policy and economics at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health and an IRP faculty affiliate.

Sep 30

25 min 58 sec

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 the Center for Financial Security. He talks about whether parents from different racial and ethnic groups and with varying income levels are more or less likely to give their children an allowance. He also explains what parents might be hoping to achieve by giving their child money that they manage themselves, and whether that translates into more financial capability as a young adult.

Sep 13

20 min 41 sec

In this episode we hear from Adrian Huerta of the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Huerta shares his research that came from talking to gang-associated youth in high school, what their education experiences looked like, and how that translated to what they thought about the options they had when it came to going to college.

Jul 1

28 min 26 sec

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 techniques and about things like child development. They might be offered in schools or community settings and participation is sometimes voluntary, sometimes included as part of participation in other programs, and sometimes mandated as part of a court decision, for example. The interview draws on a paper she wrote on the hidden curriculum of parenting education. We hear about what was taught in the classes she observed, what wasn’t, and why that matters.

Jun 15

27 min 12 sec

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 not clear that this "benefit" extends to everyone. In this episode, Howard University economist Andria Smythe talks about her research looking at how college outcomes of young adults shifted during a recession and how she found that those from disadvantaged backgrounds' levels of college completion were hurt more during a recession.

May 17

16 min 1 sec

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 expansions of child tax credits. She says efforts to support parents and invest in families can help them to meet their goals and do what they want to do for their children and for themselves.

May 7

18 min 20 sec

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 she’s seen around why women are leaving the labor force and how the lack of support for working parents could roll back the gains we’ve seen in women’s work and the economic benefits that have come with them.

Apr 8

30 min 18 sec

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 episode, economist Chloe Gibbs of the University of Notre Dame talks about how these expansions impacted academic achievement and outcomes at the school district level.   

Mar 11

19 min 3 sec

In this episode, Timothy Smeeding talks about proposals from Senator Mitt Romney and from Democratic leadership for a fully refundable monthly child tax credit or child allowance and how these types of policies could reduce child poverty and help working parents in the pandemic and beyond. Smeeding is the Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics at the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty from 2008-2014. 

Mar 5

23 min 37 sec

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 residential segregation that is still with us today.

Feb 17

16 min 25 sec

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 sociologist Pamela Oliver in late 2020, she talked about how we got to where we are today when it comes to U.S. imprisonment (Part 1) and the impact that different reforms would have on reducing the U.S. prison population (Part 2).  The interview is based on a paper Professor Oliver wrote for the Marquette Law Review (Volume 103, Issue 3).  

Feb 1

15 min 29 sec

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 sociologist Pamela Oliver in late 2020, she talked about how we got to where we are today when it comes to U.S. imprisonment and the impact that different reforms would have on reducing the U.S. prison population. This is part 1 of the interview.  The interview is based on a paper Professor Oliver wrote for the Marquette Law Review (Volume 103, Issue 3).  

Jan 25

15 min 45 sec

In this episode, Carolyn Heinrich of Vanderbilt University talks about a study she conducted with Jennifer Darling-Aduana, Annalee Good, and Huiping (Emily) Cheng that looked at the use of online education products in high schools to help students who were falling behind. Heinrich describes her team's observations of online course-taking and the longer-term academic and labor market outcomes of students in online settings versus those in traditional instruction. They find that, on average, students who took more credit recovery courses in online settings generally fared worse. Heinrich says that this raises equity concerns and asks if we are "disadvantaging the exact students we’re trying to help in the way we roll this out?" To learn more about the study, the instruments used in classroom observation, and related publications, see https://my.vanderbilt.edu/digitaled/.   

Jan 11

32 min 32 sec

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 Machelett, their perhaps surprising main result is that temporary home removal increases later test scores and reduces grade repetition for young girls, but doesn't show any significant impacts for young boys.  Dr. Chyn is an assistant professor of economics at Dartmouth College and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. The paper he talks about in this episode is NBER working paper number 25419 "The Causal Impact of Removing Children from Abusive and Neglectful Homes."  View transcript at https://www.irp.wisc.edu/resource/eric-chyn-on-the-impacts-of-removing-children-from-abusive-or-neglectful-homes/

Aug 2020

13 min 16 sec

In this episode, IRP and Morgridge Center for Public Service media intern Simon Guma talks to Troy M. Williams. They discuss Williams' path to pursuing a PhD at UW-Madison's School of Human Ecology, advice for students and researchers who are engaging with members of their communities, and the challenges of working in institutions that still have a lot of work to do when it comes to issues of race. 

Jul 2020

26 min 35 sec

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 social integration in the United States. Read the transcript at https://www.irp.wisc.edu/resource/stephanie-canizales-on-the-experiences-of-undocumented-and-unaccompanied-youth-workers/

Jun 2020

25 min 38 sec

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 https://www.irp.wisc.edu/resource/mario-small-on-how-social-networks-and-social-capital-matter-for-human-services-programs/

May 2020

30 min 9 sec

This episode features Professor Sarah Halpern-Meekin, who discusses work from her 2019 book, Social Poverty. Halpern-Meekin is a sociologist at UW-Madison’s School of Human Ecology and La Follette School of Public Affairs.  

Apr 2020

33 min 7 sec

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 differences in pay and if the story is different depending on someone’s race or gender. He also talks about culture challenges in the economics profession, mentoring, and how growing up in the Bahamas influenced some of his goals as an economist.

Mar 2020

22 min 43 sec

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 forgotten, and intervene to smooth the path for their children. It’s become so common that many schools now have rules against this kind of parental behavior. But our guest for this episode, sociologist Jessica Calarco of Indiana University, says that for many privileged parents and families, these rules just don’t seem to apply. She set out to find out why and tells us about it in this podcast episode.

Feb 2020

19 min 17 sec

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 household make decisions when it comes to supporting their children. Guarin is a postdoctoral fellow at Los Andes University in Colombia and was a graduate research fellow at the Institute for Research on Poverty while earning her Ph.D. in social welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Feb 2020

15 min 39 sec

For this episode, we hear from Lars Højsgaard Andersen of Denmark’s Rockwool Foundation about a policy change in Denmark that aimed to increase employment among refugees to the country by reducing public benefits. The policy change brought a number of consequences — some intended, some not — that could inform similar policies being implemented in other countries.

Jan 2020

29 min 58 sec

This episode features Michael Strain, the Economic Policy Director at the American Enterprise Institute, who gave a talk at IRP earlier this year titled “The American Dream isn’t Dead.” It’s a provocative title and Strain says that this line of work is growing out of concerns he has about the narrative around the American Dream.

Nov 2019

18 min 23 sec

In this episode, we hear from IRP postdoctoral scholar Leslie Hodges about the Unemployment Insurance program and how the program might mitigate economic distress, including poverty and material hardships, when someone loses a job. 

Oct 2019

15 min 29 sec

There has been renewed interest in issues facing the U.S. rural economy in recent years. In this episode, Penn State sociologist and demographer Brian Thiede breaks down some of the key changes that have taken place in the rural labor market and discusses potential policy responses to barriers to work faced by rural Americans. 

Sep 2019

19 min 59 sec

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 policies. 

Aug 2019

19 min 12 sec

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 basic income policy would do. In this episode, University of Chicago economist Damon Jones talks about the idea of a universal basic income and discusses a study he did with Ioana Marinescu that looked at the Alaska Permanent Fund to better understand the labor market effects of universal and permanent cash payments. 

Jul 2019

22 min 59 sec

The concept of administrative burden focuses on how bureaucracy, complex paperwork, and confusing regulations can reduce the effectiveness of public programs and limit the rights of citizens. In this podcast episode, University of Chicago professor Marci Ybarra argues that research conducted in non-profit settings can introduce similar types of burdens by putting additional demands on those being served and on workers, and by changing the incentives for agencies themselves.  

May 2019

16 min 53 sec

In this episode, we hear from Walter Stern, an assistant professor in the History and Educational Policy Studies departments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He discusses his recent book called Race and Education in New Orleans: Creating the Segregated City. His book, which focuses on the period from 1764-1960, looks at the role that schools played in the segregation of American cities with a particular focus on New Orleans.

Apr 2019

27 min 32 sec

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 could lead to better outcomes.  Over the course of the episode, they talk about how the CSPED project came to be, what it looked like for child support offices to change their approach to child support services for this demonstration, and what they learned. Cancian is the Dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and an affiliate and former director of the Institute for Research on Poverty. Meyer is Professor of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an IRP affiliate.  

Mar 2019

41 min 13 sec

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 racial income inequality by looking for differences in how children of different races and genders, but the same family income, fare in early educational measures.

Feb 2019

18 min 32 sec

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 Allison Dwyer Emory that looks at how father involvement matters for reducing socioeconomic inequalities in child outcomes.

Jan 2019

14 min 22 sec

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 Jones on the real public costs of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Nov 2018

10 min 59 sec

In this episode, University of Wisconsin-Madison sociologist Michael Light talks about a paper he co-authored with Julia Thomas looking at the consequences of segregation and whether whites benefit from segregation when it comes to rates of violence.

Nov 2018

21 min 29 sec

In this episode of the Poverty Research and Policy Podcast, Beth Vaade of the Madison Metropolitan School District, Kerry Lawton of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and Eric Grodsky, a professor of Sociology and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, discuss their experiences developing and working in research-practice partnerships in education.

Sep 2018

46 min 52 sec

In this podcast episode, Heather Hill of the University of Washington's Evan's School of Public Policy and Governance discusses her research on income dynamics and why income disruptions might matter for children's cognitive, social, and emotional outcomes.

Aug 2018

24 min 43 sec

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 support system.

Jul 2018

21 min 44 sec

In this podcast episode, IRP National Poverty Fellow Kathleen Moore talks about the Housing Choice Voucher Program and her research about how landlords respond to inquiries from potential renters who hold housing vouchers. Transcript 

Apr 2018

20 min 47 sec

In this podcast episode, Brad Wilcox of the University of Virginia and the National Marriage Project talks about the "Success Sequence" and how, for millennials, finishing their education, obtaining a full-time job, and getting married before having children may help families avoid poverty.  

Mar 2018

20 min 19 sec

In this podcast episode, Mustafa Hussein of the School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee discusses his research on how differences in socioeconomic status can lead to differences in health and, specifically, how much a person's neighborhood contributes to their health outcomes.

Jan 2018

16 min 52 sec

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 the approaches he and his coauthors in the volume propose to improve the effectiveness of the safety net.

Dec 2017

15 min 27 sec

In this podcast episode, Claudia Persico, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Anaysis at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, discusses a study she conducted with David Figlio and Jeffrey Roth that looks at the effects of prenatal exposure to a Superfund site on later learning outcomes.

Nov 2017

17 min 25 sec

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 promising programs that could help families and communities address childhood obesity.

Oct 2017

12 min 32 sec

In this podcast episode, sociologist Jason Houle of Dartmouth College discusses the growth of student loan debt and its implications for racial and economic inequalities in the United States.

Sep 2017

19 min 14 sec

In this episode, child psychologist Julie Poehlmann-Tynan of the University of Wisconsin–Madison talks about a new study on attachment in children who have an incarcerated father and discusses some of the factors that may lead to differences in kids’ attachment behaviors.

Aug 2017

19 min 25 sec

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 that fewer people are living on $2-a-day or less than has been previously reported.

Jul 2017

14 min 13 sec

In this podcast, Abigail Sewell of Emory University discusses her research on how political and economic processes underlying mortgage markets may be at the root of some racial disparities in health.

Jun 2017

15 min 29 sec