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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Graduate Exit Seminar via Zoom - Paige Kelly

Plan to join via Zoom Paige Kelly's graduate exit seminar on April 14, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. Paige will present, "Status-Based Inequalities and Changes in the Local Welfare State: An Empirical Study of U.S. County Governments."


What accounts for the uneven distribution of poverty and inequality across community populations and social status groups? In my dissertation I address a relatively unexplored set of factors that I hypothesize affect poverty and inequality across communities: local governments' capacity and activities. Building on past research that has noted the increasing importance of local governments in shaping well-being across place, I explore whether these same factors relate to unequal likelihood of experiencing poverty among social status groups (e.g., racial/ethnic minorities, single-mothers) across U.S. counties. I consider the degree to which county governments are responsive to populations in-need of social welfare support. I find that governments' "need response" varies in systematic ways across populations depending on their race/ethnicity, gender, and nativity status. Given that populations' social statuses appear to influence local governments' policies, I also explore whether local governments' capacity and spending account for the persistence of racial inequalities in poverty. While stratification research typically focuses on the economic and demographic characteristics of people and places, I find that local governments' capacity and policies are overlooked factors that influence status-based inequalities in poverty.

Advisor: Dr. Linda Lobao