The Economic Rationale for Investing in Children: A Focus on Child Care. Biographies of Conference Speakers


Janet Currie (Ph.D., Princeton University, Economics) is a Professor of Economics at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She spent three years at UCLA, and two years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as an assistant and then associate professor before returning to UCLA in the fall of 1993, where she has been a full professor since 1996. She is a consultant with the Labor and Population Group at RAND, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a faculty associate at the Northwestern/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research. In addition, Professor Currie is an editor of the Journal of Labor Economics and on the editorial board of the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Journal of Health Economics. She has also served on the National Science Foundation Economics Review Panel, and on several National Academy of Science panels investigating issues relevant to children. Her recent work focuses on the effects of welfare programs on poor children. In particular, she has studied the Head Start program (an enriched preschool program for poor children) and Medicaid (health insurance for low-income women and children).

Robinson Hollister (Ph.D., Stanford University, Economics) is the Joseph Wharton Professor of Economics at Swarthmore College. He has worked for many years on evaluations of employment and training programs. He served as principal investigator of the National Supported Work Demonstration and chaired a National Academy of Sciences committee on youth employment and training programs. He also served as an advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation on the Minority Female Single Parents Project. In 1991, he published Labour Market Policy and Unemployment Insurance, a comprehensive review of employment and training programs in the United States and Europe with co-authors A. Bjorklund, R. Haveman, and B. Holmlund. More recently, Professor Hollister has served on the national advisory committee for the evaluation of Job Corps. With respect to child care, Dr. Hollister served as advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation for the design of the Expanded Child Care Options Experiment. He also served as an advisor to the Pew Charitable Trust for the design of an evaluation of Chicago's Children's Initiative. Currently, he is a consultant to The Urban Institute and Westat for the National Head Start Impact Study.

V. Joseph Hotz (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Economics) is Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at the University of California at Los Angeles. He also serves as pPrincipal investigator for the California Census Research Data Center and chair of the Center's Statewide Oversight Board. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Hotz was on the faculty at the University of Chicago and served as the director of the Population Research Center at the National Opinion Research Corporation and University of Chicago. Professor Hotz is a member of the National Research Council's Panel on Data and Methods for Measuring the Effects of Changes in Social Welfare Programs. He is a national research affiliate of the Northwestern/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research, for which he recently chaired its Advisory Panel for Research Uses of Administrative Data and edited a major report on the emerging use of administrative data to monitor and evaluate the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. He also serves as a co-principal investigator for the California Statewide CalWORKs Evaluation, which will evaluate the impacts of the recent reform of California's welfare system on the employment, earnings, and continued welfare dependence of current recipients. Professor Hotz has published extensively in the areas of the economics of the family, applied econometrics, and the evaluation of social programs.

Genevieve Kenney (Ph.D., University of Michigan, Economics) is a Principal Research Associate in the Health Policy Center at The Urban Institute in Washington, DC. Her research focuses on how public policies affect health insurance coverage, access to health care, and use of health services by low-income children and pregnant women. She is currently co-director of The Urban Institute's evaluation of the State Children's Health Insurance Program and co-principal investigator of a project examining the effects of Medicaid managed care on birth outcomes.

John Love (Ph.D., University of Iowa, Child Behavior and Development) is a Senior Fellow at Mathematica Policy Research, with almost 30 years of experience conducting research, program evaluations, and policy studies with early care and education and family programs. Trained as a developmental psychologist, he has devoted much of his career to understanding issues in providing educational and support services that are designed to enhance the development and well-being of low-income children and families. Dr. Love co-chairs the panel of Research Partners for the National Center for Early Development and Learning, funded by the Early Childhood Institute in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education. He has served on numerous panels and advisory committees, including the Head Start Performance Measures Technical Work Group, the advisory panel for the evaluation of the Carnegie Corporation's Starting Points initiative, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Advisory Committee on Head Start Research and Evaluation. Dr. Love is currently co-directing the national evaluation of the Early Head Start program for the Administration on Children, Youth and Families.

Steven G. Rivkin (Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles, Economics) is Associate Professor of Economics at Amherst College, where he teaches labor economics, the economics of education, and a seminar in poverty and inequality. His recent work includes "School Desegregation, Academic Attainment, and Earnings" (published in the Journal of Human Resources, 2000), and "Tiebout Sorting, Aggregation, and the Estimation of Peer Group Effects" (forthcoming in the Economics of Education Review, 2001), as well as a paper for The Brookings Institution on education productivity. He also has written a number of working papers with Eric Hanushek and John Kain as part of the University of Texas at Dallas Schools Project. These include "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Attainment" (1998); "Inferring Program Effects for Specialized Populations: Does Special Education Raise Achievement for Students with Disabilities?" (1998); "Do Higher Salaries Buy Better Teachers?" (1998); "Does the Ability of Peers Affect School Achievement?" (forthcoming in Journal of Applied Econometrics); "Disruptions or Tiebout Improvements? The Cost and Benefits of Changing Schools" (1999); and "How Much Does School Integration Affect Student Achievement?" (2000). He is spending the 2000-2001 academic year at the Public Policy Institute of California conducting research on school quality for minority students in California.

Christine Ross (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Economics) is a Senior Economist at Mathematica Policy Research. One of her main areas of research has been the relationships between child care subsidy policies and child care supply, quality, affordability, and parents' choices of care. She recently completed a review of research on the effects of child care subsidy policies, quality, and flexibility on maternal employment, and developed a set of research designs to address further questions in these areas. Her research has also focused on the effects of welfare and child care policies on maternal employment and children's development. She is directing several studies, including a qualitative study of infant care under welfare reform, an evaluation of the impacts of welfare reform in Iowa on family and child well-being, and a planning project to develop child care policy demonstrations. She also has a lead role in the national evaluation of family and child impacts of Early Head Start.

Deborah Lowe Vandell (Ph.D., Boston University, Psychology) is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is a core investigator at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, the Institute for Research on Poverty, and the Waisman Center on Mental Retardation and Human Development. Early in her career, she was a kindergarten and second grade teacher. Since 1989, Professor Vandell has served on the Steering Committee for the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Her professional service has included membership on the Maternal and Child Health review panel at NICHD and the associate editorship of the journal, Child Development. Dr. Vandell has been a member of the editorial boards of leading journals including Developmental Psychology, Contemporary Psychology, and Journal of Family Issues. Her research focuses on the effects of early child care experiences as well as the effects of school-aged child care on children and families. Much of her work considers the cumulative impact of family, child care, school, and neighborhood factors on children's developmental outcomes. Children's relationships with their parents, siblings, peers, and teachers have provided another unifying theme.

Ann Dryden Witte (Ph.D., North Carolina State University, Economics) is an applied microeconomist and econometrician. She is Professor of Economics at Wellesely College and a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Royal Statistical Society. She has worked with federal, state, and local governments on child care issues since 1987. Currently, Professor Witte is principal investigator of the Wellesley Child Care Research Partnership. The partnership's research focuses on three primary questions: How do child care subsidies and family support policies affect the economic self-sufficiency of low-income families? How do child care subsidies and other family support policies affect the availability, cost, and quality of child care for all children, and, particularly, for low-income children? How do child care subsidies, after-school programs, and family support policies affect the school readiness and school performance of children?

Barbara L. Wolfe (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Economics) is Professor of Economics, Preventive Medicine, and Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Research Affiliate, Institute for Research on Poverty. From 1994 through 2000 she was director of the Institute for Research on Poverty, and since 1990 she has directed a training program in health and mental health economics supported by the National Institute of Mental Health. She has been a fellow-in-residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in 1996-97 and 1984-85 and a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in 1991-92. She is a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research and has served on the executive committee of the American Economics Association. She is currently on leave at the University of Amsterdam. Professor Wolfe's primary fields of interest include health economics, the economics of poverty, and social policy and finance more generally.