Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Faculty well-represented at national policy research conference

Five La Follette School faculty members and several faculty affiliates presented their work on a wide range of issues at the 2016 Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Annual Fall Research Conference from November 3 to 5 in Washington, D.C.

Faculty members Maria Cancian, J. Michael Collins, Greg Nemet, Tim Smeeding, and Dave Weimer gave presentations and participated in roundtable and panel discussions at the country's foremost policy analysis conference. In addition, Profesor Jason Fletcher attended the conference as a member of APPAM 'sPolicy Council and as a co-editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 

Cancian Maria 2016

Maria Cancian


Tim Smeeding

Cancian and Smeeding – both former directors of UW-Madison's Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) – participated in the roundtable Anti-Poverty Policy Innovations for the U.S.: Cash Transfers, while La Follette faculty affiliate Lawrence Berger moderated Family and Work Support Innovations for the U.S.: Supporting Self-Sufficiency and Access to Basic Material Needs, which was organized by former La Follette School Director Carolyn Heinrich. Berger is the IRP’s director, and Heinrich (now with Vanderbilt University) recently joined La Follette’s Board of Visitors.

The IRP also sponsored two roundtable discussions to mark its 50th anniversary. Other participating IRP scholars are listed online

Collins, faculty director of UW-Madison’s Center for Financial Security, discussed Improving Financial Decision-Making, Financial Health and Well-Being: Insights from Field Experiments and presented his paper Competing Methods of Informing Student Borrowers: A Randomized Field Experiment at an Online Proprietary University.

Nemet chaired the discussion Global Policy Analysis on Environment, Climate, and Energy and discussed Science and Technology Research and Development Funding. He also presented his paper Structuring Public Support for Radical Low-Carbon Innovation in Industry: The Valley of Death and the Technology Pork Barrel.

Weimer also participated in three sessions: Democracy and Policymaking in an International Context (chair); Behavioral Economics and Cost-Benefit Analysis: Benefit Transfers (paper presentation); and The Three Faces of Access: The Affordable Care Act, Insurers, and Physicians (paper presentation).

Cancian’s other presentations were:

  • Welfare Policy in the 21st Century: The Role of Research in Breaking New Ground to Reduce Poverty (symposium with Judy Gueron of MDRC, who will present the La Follette School’s seminar November 29).
  • On the 20th Anniversary of Welfare Reform: Changes to the Social Security Net and Their Consequences (panel discussion chair)
  • Evidence Building for Policymakers: Census Bureau Efforts (roundtable discussion speaker)
  • Noncustodial Fathers’ Contributions: Recent Trends and Consequences of Child Support Policy in the United States (paper presentation)

Smeeding’s other presentations were:

  • Use of Large-Scale Data to Assess Social Mobility (roundtable speaker)
  • Rising Income Inequality and Educational Outcomes for Poor Children (panel discussion)
  • Inequality in 3-D: Income, Consumption, and Wealth (paper presentation)