Sheldon Danziger

President, Russell Sage Foundation and Director, National Poverty Center; On Leave as H.J. Meyer Distinguished University Professor of Public Policy, University of Michigan
Areas of Expertise:
  • Jobs & Workers
  • Antipoverty Policy
  • Women

Connect with Sheldon

About Sheldon

Danziger’s research focuses on social welfare policies and on the effects of economic, demographic, and public policy changes on trends in poverty and inequality. His work includes studies of how the 1996 welfare reform affected the work effort, family income, and material wellbeing of single mothers and of the impact of poverty on children and youth. He is currently studying the effects of the Great Recession and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on workers and families. Danziger also directs the Research and Training Program on Poverty and Public Policy at the University of Michigan, a training and mentorship program for developing the careers of emerging scholars from underrepresented groups. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a John Kenneth Galbraith fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, and was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He has also been a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation and at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Conference Center.



Legacies of the War on Poverty (edited with Martha J. Bailey) (Russell Sage Foundation, 2013).
Challenges the conventional wisdom that the War on Poverty was a failure by documenting many of its underappreciated successes.
America Unequal (with Peter Gottschalk) (Harvard University Press and Russell Sage Foundation, 1995).
Demonstrates how powerful economic forces have diminished the prospects of millions of Americans and how changes in the economy, public policies, and family structure have contributed to slow growth in family incomes and rising economic inequality.
Securing the Future: Investing in Children from Birth to College (edited with Jane Waldfogel) (Russell Sage Foundation, 2000).
Assembles an interdisciplinary team of scholars to investigate the factors – pediatric, psychological, social, and economic – that bear on a child's development. Identifies sound interventions that will boost human assets, particularly among the disadvantaged.
Detroit Divided (with Reynolds Farley and Harry Holzer) (Russell Sage Foundation, 2000).
Explores the history of manufacturing in Detroit and the loss of unskilled jobs that have led to racial, economic, and geographic polarization throughout the city.
Working and Poor: How Economic Conditions and Policy Changes Affect Low-Wage Workers (edited with Rebecca Blank and Robert Schoeni) (Russell Sage Foundation, 2006).
Examines the economic well-being of less-skilled workers, from employment and earnings opportunities to consumption behavior and social assistance policies.
The Price of Independence: The Economics of Early Adulthood (edited with Cecilia Rouse) (Russell Sage Foundation, 2007).
Presents findings on what we do and do not know about the interplay between economic changes and changes in the transition to adulthood.
Changing Poverty, Changing Policies (edited with Maria Cancian) (Russell Sage Foundation, 2009).
Documents how economic, social, demographic, and public policy changes since the early 1970s have altered who is poor and where antipoverty initiatives have kept pace or fallen behind.

In the News

Sheldon Danziger's research on the war on poverty discussed in Mike KonczalSheldon Danziger, "The War on Poverty Turns 50: Three Lessons for Liberals Today," The New Republic, January 7, 2014.
Sheldon Danziger's research on Lyndon B. Johnson and the war on poverty discussed in Jonathan CohnSheldon Danziger, "LBJ’s Mistake was Promising to “Win” the War on Poverty," The New Republic, January 8, 2014.
Sheldon Danziger's research on the war on poverty discussed in Shawn FremstadSheldon Danziger, "The War on Poverty: Not Just a Liberal Campaign," PBS NewsHour, January 9, 2014.
Guest to discuss the politics of poverty on NPR's Morning Edition, Sheldon Danziger, January 9, 2014.
Sheldon Danziger's research on changing poverty rates (with Martha J. Bailey) discussed in Greg KaufmannSheldon Danziger, "This Week in Poverty: New Data, Same Story (and Same Dangerous House Republicans)," The Nation, September 20, 2013.
"The Mismeasure of Poverty," Sheldon Danziger, New York Times, September 17, 2013.
"How to Fight Poverty in Detroit," Sheldon Danziger (with Kristin S. Seefeldt and Sarah Burgard), The Huffington Post, August 29, 2012.