Pritzker Professor of Early Learning Policy Studies
Professor of Public Policy
Dr. Gennetian is an applied economist whose research straddles a variety of areas concerning child poverty from income security and stability to early care and education with a particular lens toward identifying causal mechanisms underlying how child poverty shapes children’s development. She is a co-PI on the first multi-site multi-year randomized control study of a monthly unconditional cash transfer to low income mothers of infants in the U.S. called Baby’s First Years. Her recent work bridges poverty scholarship with a behavioral economic framework. “The Persistence of Poverty in the Context of Economic Instability: A Behavioral Perspective,” describes such a framework for poverty programs and policy, co-authored with Dr. Eldar Shafir and her co-authored publication “Behavioral Economics and Developmental Science,” further advances the application of behavioral economic insights to the arena of children’s development. Professor Gennetian has since launched the beELL initiative; applying insights from behavioral economics to design strategies to support parent and family engagement in, and enhance the impacts of, existing childhood interventions. Dr. Gennetian also has a body of research examining poverty among Hispanic children and families, serving as a PI on several grants and a co-PI directing work on poverty and economic self-sufficiency at the National Center for Research on Hispanic Families.