Associate Dean for Social Sciences, College of Letters & Science
Professor of Public Affairs and Social Work
Faculty Affiliate, Institute for Research on Poverty
Institute for Research on Poverty
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
College of Letters and Science
301 South Hall
Madison, WI 53706
Maria Cancian is Professor of Public Affairs and Social Work, and an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty and the Center for Demography and Ecology. She became associate dean for social sciences in the College of Letters & Science in 2011. Her research is in the area of domestic social policy. Her recent research considers the impact of married women's growing employment and earnings on marriage patterns and the inter- and intra-household distribution of income, the work and income of women who have received welfare, and the implications of child support and custody for the well-being of divorced and never-married families. Since 1997 she has been Principal Investigator, with Daniel R. Meyer, of the Child Support Demonstration Evaluation, which evaluates child-support policy implemented as part of welfare reform in Wisconsin.
Professor Cancian has been a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation and a visiting fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. She was director of the Institute for Research on Poverty from 2004-08, and she served as vice president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management from 2005-07. She and Sheldon Danziger edited the 2009 book Changing Poverty, Changing Policies published by Russell Sage. Her articles have appeared in journals including Demography, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Review of Economics and Statistics and Social Service Review. She received her doctorate in economics from the University of Michigan.