Julie Yixia Cai is an economist on the domestic team at CEPR, where she works on a variety of issues relating to labor market conditions, racial and gender disparities, economic well-being, poverty, and social policy.
In addition to the work in support of CEPR’s domestic program, Cai conducts research for academic publications in the fields of economic instability, social policy, the welfare state, and child protection. Current research projects examine how employment instability impacts individuals and families with children. She also investigates the anti-poverty effects of safety net programs and their impact on the life circumstances of low- and middle-income families in the United States. Her recent coauthored paper documents the US’s deep child poverty in a comparative context and how social programs could mitigate child poverty.
Cai comes to CEPR from the University of Wisconsin at Madison where she is a graduate research fellow with the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP). As an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University, Cai occasionally teaches a course on research methods for social policy track students. Cai has provided statistical analyses for numerous projects at IRP and contributed to reports for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. She also worked as a research assistant at the Columbia Population Research Center on the Poverty Tracker Project and was a member of a joint research team between the UNICEF and the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Cross-National Data Center related to child poverty and social protection in middle-income countries.
Cai expects to complete her PhD in social welfare with a minor in public affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2021. She holds an MSW concentrating in social policy from Columbia University, and an MSc in urban studies from University College London.
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