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212 Rubenstein Hall, 302 Towerview Road
Durham, NC 27708
Box 90312
Durham, NC 27708


(919) 613-9341



Lisa A. Gennetian
Pritzker Associate Professor of Early Learning Policy Studies
Associate Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Faculty Affiliate in the Center for Child and Family Policy

Areas of Expertise


Ph.D., Cornell University (1998)
B.A., Wellesley College (1990)

"A fascinating and super ambitious new experiment has just launched..." Listen to podcast:


What if the key to successfully engaging parents in school-based programs was as simple as a reminder from the teacher or a personalized invitation? Watch:


A roadmap to reducing child poverty (Webinar):



Gennetian discusses the challenges of direct government cash payments during the coronavirus in this Policy 360 podcast:


Dr. Gennetian is an applied economist whose research straddles a variety of areas concerning child poverty from income security and stability to early care and education with a particular lens toward identifying causal mechanisms underlying how child poverty shapes children’s development. She is a co-PI on the first multi-site multi-year randomized control study of a monthly unconditional cash transfer to low income mothers of infants in the U.S. called Baby’s First Years. Her recent work bridges poverty scholarship with a behavioral economic framework.  “The Persistence of Poverty in the Context of Economic Instability: A Behavioral Perspective,” describes such a framework for poverty programs and policy, co-authored with Dr. Eldar Shafir and her co-authored publication “Behavioral Economics and Developmental Science,” further advances the application of behavioral economic insights to the arena of children’s development. Professor Gennetian has since launched the beELL initiative; applying insights from behavioral economics to design strategies to support parent and family engagement in, and enhance the impacts of, existing childhood interventions. Dr. Gennetian also has a body of research examining poverty among Hispanic children and families, serving as a PI on several grants and a co-PI directing work on poverty and economic self-sufficiency at the National Center for Research on Hispanic Families.