Areas of Expertise & Civic InvolvementsWaldfogel’s work’s main focus is the impact of public policy on child and family well-being. She carries out research on a range of topics including the measurement of poverty, food insecurity, work-family policies, the effects of the Great Recession on parents and children, and inequality in school readiness and school achievement, both within the United States and across countries.
Analyzes the effects of the Great Recession and finds that declining consumer confidence was associated with increases in high frequency maternal spanking.
Presents new evidence from a range of countries on how they address the challenge of ensuring that all children – including disadvantaged children – receive high quality early childhood education and care.
Argues that fathers in California are 46 percent (relative to the pre-treatment mean) more likely to take leave in the first year of their children’s lives when that leave is available - but these effects are much larger for fathers of sons than for fathers of daughters, and almost entirely driven by fathers of first-born children and fathers in occupations with a high share of female workers.
Analyzes the effects of California’s paid family leave program and finds that it led to increased leave-taking, particularly among women who had the least access to leave previously.