CPI 2013-14 New Scholars Grant Competition Winners

The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality is pleased to announce the winners of our 2013-14 New Scholars Grant Competition:


Megan Andrew and Elizabeth McClintock, Notre Dame

Educational Assortative Mating and Household Income Inequality across Changing Labor Markets

We examine how the changing composition and segregation of local labor markets directly shapes patterns of educational assortative mating. The analysis illuminates trends in educational assortative mating and reveals how the reorganization of labor markets in recent decades may have increased not only assortative mating but household economic inequality as well.


Debra Brucker, University of New Hampshire

Multidimensional Poverty and Safety Net Participation

The purpose of this research is to explore the association between multidimensional poverty and participation in public safety net programs for working age adults in the United States. The study will (1) develop multidimensional measures of poverty that include both monetary and non-monetary domains, and (2) examine differences in multidimensional poverty by safety net participation for persons in official poverty.


Shannon Gleeson, UC Santa Cruz

Rights in Name Only: Labor Market Reintegration and Economic Precarity in the Wake of Workplace Violations

This study examines the experiences of low-wage workers in the San Francisco Bay Area who have experienced a workplace violation and are pursuing a legal claim. Drawing on a survey of 470 workers, I examine the conditions shaping workplace violations and the challenges immigrant workers confront as they pursue their legal rights under wage theft, unjust termination, sexual harassment, and workplace injury statutes. Based on 80 interviews with workers 12-36 months following their initial claim, I also examine the dynamics of employer intimidation, the challenges of navigating the enforcement bureaucracy, and the material and emotional fallout for workers and their families.


Jacob Lesniewski, Dominican University School of Social Work
Jessica Cook, University of Illinois-Chicago & University of Chicago Survey Lab

Wages of Wage Theft

The purpose of this project is to develop and pilot a survey instrument to help understand how low-wage workers, both immigrant and native born, respond to wage theft. The following questions are taken on: (1) Does wage theft lead to poverty?; (2) Does wage theft lead to lower remittances?; and (3) How do workers cope with wage theft?


Brian McCabe, Georgetown University

The Changing Composition of Subsidized Housing

Between 2009 and 2012, the aggregate supply of subsidized housing units increased in the United States, but this overall uptick masks substantial changes in the composition of the housing stock. In just four years, the number of project-based public housing units declined by more than 25,000, while the number of voucher units rose substantially, more than offsetting the decline in public housing. The following questions will be addressed in this project: (1) How has the composition of subsidized housing changed in communities across the country, especially since the Great Recession? (2) What types of communities lost public housing, or gained voucher households or affordable units through the low-income housing tax credit program?; and (3) Has the transition to market-based programs led to the deconcentration of poverty?


Shannon Monnat, Penn State University

Health Care Access and Utilization among Hispanics in New vs. Established Destinations

The unprecedented Hispanic population growth and the rapid geographic dispersion of Hispanics from traditional settlement areas in the southwest to new destinations in the midwest, southeast, and Pacific northwest is well-established. However, little is known about how Hispanic health varies across destination types, nor about the effect of immigrant status on health care access and use in new and established Hispanic destinations. This project will cast new light on these patterns of health care access and use among Hispanics.


Ann Owens, University of Southern California

Economic Segregation between School Districts: Trends and Correlates, 1990 to 2010

How segregated are school districts by family income? This study examines the degree of segregation by income between school districts in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. from 1990 to the late 2000s. I will study (1) whether the degree and trend of economic segregation between districts varies by family composition (e.g., presence of children), and (2) whether these trends are correlated with metro-level demographic, institutional, and economic factors.


Jessica Welburn, University of Michigan

Social Mobility and Municipal Bankruptcy: The Experiences of Working-Class and Middle-Class African Americans in Detroit

This study explores how working-class and middle-class African Americans in Detroit interpret their social mobility prospects in the context of the uncertainty created by the city’s economic decline and July 2013 bankruptcy filing. Initial interviews with 40 respondents suggest that working-class and middle-class African Americans must devote considerable energy to navigating the city’s crumbling infrastructure. As a consequence, the majority believe that opportunities for African Americans are constrained and that individual-level mobility strategies, such as hard work and effort, are not rewarded.