Yixia Cai is an economist on the domestic team at CEPR. She is a PhD candidate in social welfare at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she is a graduate research fellow with the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP). Her areas of research include poverty, economic inequality and instability, low-income working families, and social policy.
Cai’s current projects examine how employment instability impacts families with children, using both nationally representative survey data and state administrative data. Another line of her research investigates the anti-poverty effects of safety net programs and their relationship with the life circumstances of low-income families. Her recent co-authored paper documents the US’s deep child poverty in a comparative context and how social programs could mitigate child poverty.
Prior to joining CEPR, Cai was a lecturer at Columbia University. She also provided statistical analyses for numerous projects at IRP and contributed to writing reports for Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Previously, she worked as a research assistant at Columbia Population Research Center on the NYC Poverty Tracker project. She was also a member of a joint research team between UNICEF and the LIS Cross-National Data Center, focusing on child poverty and social protection. Cai holds an MSW concentrating in social policy and practice from Columbia University and an MSc in urban studies from University College London.