Irwin Garfinkel conducts research on the costs and benefits of welfare state programs. Much of this work has focused on the economic insecurity of single mothers and their children and policies designed to increase their security. Garfinkel’s seminal work on child support policy has shed light on the nature, consequences, and promise of child support enforcement for ensuring economic security for children. In partnership with Sara McLanahan, Garfinkel developed the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study (funded by NICHD and foundations), that has become an important national resource providing new data on the growing—but little understood—population of unmarried parents and their children. In addition, Garfinkel is the Principal Investigator of the Robin Hood funded Poverty Tracker project, which uses representative longitudinal data from New York City to track the dynamics of poverty and wellbeing over time.
Christopher Wimer conducts research on the measurement of poverty and disadvantage in both local and national contexts, as well as historical trends in poverty and the impacts of social policies on the poverty rate. He is the Project Director on the Robin Hood Poverty Tracker, and also manages and participates in the research on many of the Center’s poverty-related research projects. In addition to Wimer’s research on measuring poverty and disadvantage, he also focuses on how families cope with poverty and economic insecurity, with a particular focus on how families manage food insecurity and other forms of material hardship. His work pays particular attention to the role of government policies and programs and their potential impacts on the wellbeing of low-income families and children.