Barbara Wolfe

Barbara Wolfe is the Richard A. Easterlin Professor of Economics, Population Health Sciences, and Public Affairs and Faculty Affiliate at the Institute for Research on Poverty, all at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses broadly on poverty and health issues. Current projects examine whether housing voucher programs lead to higher earnings, higher quality child care, less reliance on other public assistance programs and better school performance of children in the household; the adequacy of resources when individuals retire and during their first decade of retirement; how poverty influences critical brain areas among young children; and the influence of growing up with a sibling who has a developmental disability or mental illness, or a sibling who dies, on outcomes as a young adult. Recent work addresses the effects of welfare reform; economics of disability; ties among income, wealth, and health; racial disparities in health; and intergenerational determinants of success in young adults. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine, recently serving on its standing committee on Family Planning, and a committee addressing improving access to oral health care. She served as vice chair of the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine Board on Children, Youth and Families and as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health. She is a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholars program. Professor Wolfe’s recent articles have appeared in the Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Human Resources, International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Economy Inquiry, Journal of Health Economics, and Demography. She received her doctorate in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.