Food Assistance & Food InsecurityPoverty & InequalityNational Welfare Data Set

In the News

  • Ziliak and Hardy argue for direct payments to mitigate Covid-19 impact

    UKCPR director James Ziliak and research affiliate Bradley Hardy argue in a Brookings Institute policy brief that the federal government should expedite direct payments to U.S. households to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus. Because the response to Covid-19 is affecting every sector of the economy rapidly, the two Brookings affiliates believe that payment amounts should cover about 60 percent of U.S. median household income and be made to every household, without delay. They also recommend immediate relaxing of rules to safety net programs to meet the challenges of caring for the nation’s poor and vulnerable populations. Read the entire Brookings Institution brief.

  • UKCPR awards new research projects examining senior hunger

    The University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research awarded nine new projects that will examine a variety of questions related to food hardships facing older persons in the United States. The program -- made possible with funding from the Food and Nutrition Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture -- will provide about $1.2 million for research into the impact of factors such as medical expenses, food production activities, and chronic disease on food insecurity and related health and material hardships among seniors. Read the article.

  • UKCPR announces awardees of new food insecurity research using PSID data

    The University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service and the Food and Nutrition Service, awarded six new projects that utilize the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to analyze household food insecurity and its links to food assistance program participation, work, income, consumption, and wealth. The PSID began in 1968 as a survey of 4,800 American families and has since followed the children and grandchildren of original respondents. Today there are more than 11,000 PSID families and 26,000 individuals who participate in the survey.  Read full story.


Maggie Jones is a UKCPR research affiliate and an economist for the Center for Economic Studies at the U.S. Census Bureau. Her research focuses on tax policy and its effects on families, such as the impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit, how race affects economic inequality, and the impact of neighborhood characteristics on youth outcomes.

Recently, Maggie published research on the impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) during the Great Recession in the National Tax Journal. Her work has also appeared in Demography, Journal of Labor Research, and the Journal of Marriage & Family, as well as a number of Center for Economic Studies and NBER working papers.She is also co-author of the Opportunity Atlas: Mapping the Childhood Roots of Social Mobility, which is available in the NBER Working Paper series. Jones and her co-authors estimated children’s earning distributions, incarceration rates, and other outcomes in adulthood by parental income, race, and gender. The estimates allowed authors to trace outcomes back to neighborhoods. They found that outcomes vary sharply across nearby census tracts. The opportunity atlas provides a predictor of childhood outcomes across neighborhoods and provides policy makers a way to target interventions to specific areas with the greatest need.

Her research in the June 2019 issue of Demography is titled "Race matters: Income shares, income inequality, and income mobility for all U.S. Races" She and her co-authors find “a rigid income structure, with mainly whites and Asians positioned at the top and blacks, American Indians, and Hispanics confined to the bottom.”

Visit Maggie’s Census profile page.



Mission Statement

The University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research (UKCPR) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit academic research center established in 2002. Our research informs evidence-based policy on the causes, consequences, and correlates of poverty, inequality, and food insecurity in the United States.

UKCPR is a member of the Collaborative of Poverty Centers sponsored by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison with underwriting from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The other member poverty centers are located at Columbia UniversityHoward University, Stanford University, University of California-Davis, University of California-Irvine, University of Michigan, and University of Washington. The goal of the CPC is to improve the effectiveness of public policies to reduce poverty and inequality and their impacts on the well-being of the American people.