Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

News: Poverty

Wisconsin’s poverty rate increased to 10.8 percent in 2016, compared to 9.7 percent in 2015, according to the 10th annual Wisconsin Poverty Report.

La Follette School Associate Professor J. Michael Collins and former La Follette School Associate Director Hilary Shager (MPA ’05, PhD ’12) are among the leaders of the Alliance for the American Dream: DreamUp Wisconsin, a new community-university collaboration aimed at promoting shared prosperity and increasing American competitiveness.

In light of concerns about Social Security’s costs and benefit adequacy, La Follette School Professors Tim Smeeding and Pam Herd along with colleagues at The Urban Institute and Syracuse University propose an effective and relatively inexpensive targeted program to provide a minimally adequate income floor to old-age income through the Social Security system.

A selection of innovative anti-poverty policy proposals by leading social scientists, including some from UW–Madison's La Follette School of Public Affairs, explores alternatives to shrinking federal programs.

La Follette School Professor Bobbi Wolfe will present her emerging research with Psychology Professor Seth Pollak during Neuroscience, Poverty, and Policy - a public presentation in Milwaukee on March 8.

The most recent issue of Focus, the flagship publication of the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), features the work of four La Follette School faculty members, including University of Wisconsin–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank.

November 21, 2017

Eric Hepler, MPA

During my undergraduate studies, I worked at a municipal consulting firm (Center for Government Research), that worked with local communities to improve government services. I enjoyed the work as well as knowing that we were improving people’s lives. I determined that a public affairs degree would give me the skills that I’d need to pursue that line of work as a career.

October 31, 2017

Dan Spika, MPA

My ultimate goal is to get to a position where I can move the needle on poverty policy.

With funding from the Herb Kohl Public Service Research Competition, University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty members Barbara (Bobbi) Wolfe and Seth Pollak hosted an academic workshop on neuroscience, public policy, and poverty September 27 and 28 in Milwaukee. Discussion focused on children in poverty.

La Follette School faculty member Tim Smeeding, the Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics, presented the 2015 Wisconsin Poverty Report (WPR) at the State Capitol on May 22.

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