Our Programs

Supporting science-based approaches to understanding poverty and inequality

The Center has over 500 faculty affiliates and regularly hosts visiting scholars and fellows. These affiliates and fellows are engaged in core research on trends in poverty and inequality, the sources of poverty and inequality, the consequences of poverty and inequality, and the effects of policy initiatives on poverty and inequality. The Center provides small seed grants to faculty and student affiliates that allow them to carry out creative research and demonstration projects that will ultimately attract major federal and foundation monies. We regularly sponsor talks and conferences relevant to issues of poverty and inequality.

Developing science-based policy

The Center is committed to evaluating and developing public policy relevant to poverty and inequality. In collaboration with Stanford University Press, the Center sponsors two book series, titled Studies in Inequality and The Big Questions, that expose looming policy decisions about poverty and inequality and develops innovative approaches to addressing them. We also publish a web and hardcopy magazine, titled Pathways, that asks the most prominent scholars in the field to weigh in on current policy issues on the basis of their research and scholarship. 

Training the next generation of scholars, policy analysts, and politicians

The typical discipline-based training of students is becoming increasingly provincial as research in poverty and inequality takes on a more deeply interdisciplinary cast. Although contemporary scholarship and policy analysis is now almost routinely interdisciplinary, most training remains rooted in single disciplines and fails to prepare future scholars and policy analysts well. The Center sponsors interdisciplinary programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Disseminating data, research, and policy analysis

The CPI offers an archive of customized trend data, sponsors the Studies In Inequality and The Big Questions series, and publishes Pathways magazine.

Monitoring trends in poverty and inequality

The Center serves as a clearing house for high-quality trend data on poverty and inequality. The development of a comprehensive social indicator system for poverty and inequality will, we hope, prove to be a useful step in furthering science-based policy on poverty and inequality, just as a comprehensive system of economic indicators has been crucial in developing science-based strategies for manipulating economic outcomes. The Center offers a unique and powerful archive of trend data that allows users to customize time series of interest.