Research Topic

Poverty and Inequality

CCFP researchers study the impact of poverty and economic inequality on children, families, and communities. Our teams study and evaluate the effectiveness of programs and policies designed to help low-income families, the day-to-day experiences of working parents and their families, and the impact of living in poverty on children and families. CCFP researchers also study and evaluate efforts that have been successful at disrupting systemic inequities affecting low-wealth families and building on the strengths of communities to improve outcomes for children and families.

Latest Research

Policy Brief

How Charter Schools Undermine Good Education Policymaking

In this policy memo, Ladd argues that charter schools disrupt four core goals of education policy in the United States, namely: 1) establishing coherent systems of schools, 2) attending to child poverty and disadvantage, 3) limiting racial segregation and isolation, and 4) ensuring that public funds are spent wisely. Ladd offers policy recommendations to better meet these challenges.

learn more about How Charter Schools Undermine Good Education Policymaking
Policy Brief

Net Worth Poverty and Child Development

These findings provide evidence that net worth poverty has negative associations with children’s development. Net worth poverty predicts lower reading and applied problem scores and increased behavioral problems.

learn more about Net Worth Poverty and Child Development
Policy Brief

Measuring Educational Opportunity in North Carolina Public School Districts

This research brief examines two measures of educational opportunity in North Carolina public school districts, average achievement and achievement growth. The first measure— average achievement—indexes the average level of student achievement at a single point in time. The second measure—achievement growth—indexes the rate of growth in student achievement over time.

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Policy Brief

Behind the Findings: Policies that Contribute to Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Net Worth Poverty

This brief summarizes the findings from Net Worth Poverty in Child Households by Race and Ethnicity, 1989–2019 in the Journal of Marriage and the Family and offers historical context for U.S. policies that have contributed to racial and ethnic differences in net worth poverty in child households.

learn more about Behind the Findings: Policies that Contribute to Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Net Worth Poverty
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Carolyn Barnes

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Anna Gassman-Pines

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Lisa Gennetian

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Christina Gibson-Davis

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Net Worth Poverty and Children’s Development

Project Description This study examines how net worth poverty – or household’s whose wealth levels fall below one-quarter of the federal poverty line – is associated with children’s cognitive and behavioral development. Most children who are net worth poor are not income poor, meaning that these economically vulnerable group of children have been conventionally overlooked…

learn more about Net Worth Poverty and Children’s Development
learn more about Net Worth Poverty and Children’s Development

Examining Medicaid and the Nutrition Program for Women and Children to Understand How to Design Social Policy to Achieve Health Equity

This research will provide an in-depth view of variation in state-level policy rules and program administration across WIC and Medicaid in three states and illuminate the consequences for policy beneficiaries’ ability to access benefits, engage with programs, and function as democratic citizens.

learn more about Examining Medicaid and the Nutrition Program for Women and Children to Understand How to Design Social Policy to Achieve Health Equity
learn more about Examining Medicaid and the Nutrition Program for Women and Children to Understand How to Design Social Policy to Achieve Health Equity

Local Criminal Justice Reform Efforts: Effects on Employment, Self-Sufficiency, and Family Well-Being

This study is evaluating a local program in Durham, NC, that waives the fees of those who have a suspended license due to failure to pay, in order to discover how reinstating drivers’ licenses can reduce barriers to employment and self-sufficiency.

learn more about Local Criminal Justice Reform Efforts: Effects on Employment, Self-Sufficiency, and Family Well-Being
learn more about Local Criminal Justice Reform Efforts: Effects on Employment, Self-Sufficiency, and Family Well-Being

WIC, SNAP and Medicaid Participation in North Carolina

Investigate the barriers and facilitators of applying for, receiving, and redeeming safety net program benefits, including the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in North Carolina. Including before and during COVID-19.

learn more about WIC, SNAP and Medicaid Participation in North Carolina
learn more about WIC, SNAP and Medicaid Participation in North Carolina
December 6, 2022
Journal Articles

Earned Income Tax Credit Receipt By Hispanic Families With Children: State Outreach And Demographic Factors

In this study, researchers found that states’ granting of drivers’ licenses to undocumented people, availability of government information in Spanish, and employer mandates to inform employees were associated with higher EITC receipt among Hispanic families. These findings showcase ways in which information and outreach at the state level can support the equitable receipt of tax refunds and similar types of benefits distributed through the tax system.

learn more about Earned Income Tax Credit Receipt By Hispanic Families With Children: State Outreach And Demographic Factors
November 10, 2022
Policy Briefs

How Charter Schools Undermine Good Education Policymaking

In this policy memo, Ladd argues that charter schools disrupt four core goals of education policy in the United States, namely: 1) establishing coherent systems of schools, 2) attending to child poverty and disadvantage, 3) limiting racial segregation and isolation, and 4) ensuring that public funds are spent wisely. Ladd offers policy recommendations to better meet these challenges.

learn more about How Charter Schools Undermine Good Education Policymaking
November 7, 2022
Journal Articles

Racial And Ethnic Disparities In Pandemic-Era Unemployment Insurance Access: Implications For Health And Well-Being

During the COVID-19 pandemic, workers not identifying as White non-Hispanic in our sample were more likely to get laid off than White workers. However, these workers were less likely than White workers to receive unemployment insurance at all. Among those who were laid off, these workers and White workers experienced similar increases in material and mental health difficulties and similar gains when they received unemployment insurance.

learn more about Racial And Ethnic Disparities In Pandemic-Era Unemployment Insurance Access: Implications For Health And Well-Being
September 7, 2022
Policy Briefs

Net Worth Poverty and Child Development

These findings provide evidence that net worth poverty has negative associations with children’s development. Net worth poverty predicts lower reading and applied problem scores and increased behavioral problems.

learn more about Net Worth Poverty and Child Development