How has America Fared in its War on Poverty?

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6:00 pm

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Over fifty years ago, President Johnson declared a war on poverty. With this war came a dramatic expansion in government programs that included health insurance for the poor and elderly, food subsidies to promote nutrition, educational programs for preschool age children, as well as other programs. How have we fared in this war? In this lecture Sullivan will discuss the effect of these programs on poverty over the past five decades, and highlight some of the key lessons learned from national efforts to improve outcomes for low-income individuals and families.
James Sullivan is a Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame. He has been a visiting scholar at the National Poverty Center and a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, and in 2019-2020 he served as a national Phi Betta Kappa Visiting Scholar. He serves on the National Poverty Research Center Advisory Board, and was an appointed member of the U.S. Commission on Social Impact Partnerships. 
His research examines the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs at the national, state, and local level. He also studies the consumption, saving, and borrowing behavior of poor households, as well as poverty and inequality measurement. Sullivan has published numerous journal articles and book chapters and his work has been covered by major media outlets including CNN, the Wall St. Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Forbes, Fox News, Barron's, Bloomberg News, Slate, the Atlantic Monthly, the Chicago Tribune, National Public Radio, and others. He has testified at Congressional hearings on evidence-based policy on multiple occasions. 
In 2012, with fellow Notre Dame Professor William Evans, Professor Sullivan founded the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) and currently serves as the lab's director. LEO is a research center that works with service providers and policymakers to identify effective and scalable solutions to reduce poverty in America. Sullivan received his bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University.