Kathryn Edin is one of the nation’s leading poverty researchers, working in the domains of welfare and low-wage work, family life, and neighborhood contexts. A qualitative and mixed-method researcher, she has taken on key mysteries about the urban poor that have not been fully answered by quantitative work: How do single mothers possibly survive on welfare? Why don’t more go to work? Why do they end up as single mothers in the first place? Where are the fathers and why do they disengage from their children’s lives? How have the lives of the single mothers changed as a result of welfare reform?
Edin has authored 5 books with a sixth forthcoming and some 50 journal articles. The hallmark of her research is her direct, in-depth observations of the lives of low-income women, men, and children. Edin is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Formerly, she was Professor or Public Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School and chair of the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Margaret Mead Fellow at the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. She is a Trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation and on HHS’s advisory committee for the poverty research centers at University of California Davis, University of Wisconsin, and Stanford University. She is a founding member of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Network on Housing and Families with Young Children and a past member of the MacArthur Network on the Family and the Economy.