Food Assistance & Food InsecurityPoverty & InequalityNational Welfare Data Set

In the News

  • Ziliak and Moffitt argue for bigger Safety Net response to Covid-19 crisis

    UKCPR Director James Ziliak and Johns Hopkins Economics Professor Robert Moffitt have authored a new analysis in The Hill on the need for a more robust federal response to mitigate the enconomic impact of the coronavirus. They cite job losses not seen since the Great Depression and devastating shocks to household incomes as evidence for the need to "Deploy the Safety Net." Read more.

  • 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.


Aaron Yelowitz is a professor of economics at the University of Kentucky and also holds a joint appointment in UK’s Martin School of Public Policy. He is also a fellow at the Cato Institute. Aaron’s research focuses on public and health economics.

His recent study (with UK colleague Charles Courtemanche et al. ) analyzed the impact of measures introduced by states to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. The research found that mandatory measures reduced the potential spread of SARS-CoV-2 by tenfold. The research has been featured widely in recent days on CNN and Univision and in publications such as Health Affairs and the Washington Post. The event study estimated that various measures introduced in states March 1-April 27 likely prevented an outbreak of 35 million cases in the US, as opposed to the 1 million cases as of April 27.

Aaron’s has also published research in the Journal of Political Economy Quarterly, the Journal of Health Economics, the Journal of Economics, and the Journal of Public Economics. In the popular press, Aaron’s work has been featured in Forbes, National Review, and the Wall Street Journal, as well as broadcast outlets such as  CNBC, National Public Radio, Kentucky Educatonal Television, and local Lexington television.

Visit Aaron’s faculty page.ntucky

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.