Yixia Cai is a doctoral candidate in social welfare with a minor in public affairs at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a graduate research fellow at the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP). She has recently joined the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), where she conducts research on labor market conditions, economic disparity, poverty, and social policy.
Cai’s research centers on the intersection of economic instability, poverty, social policy, and family well-being. Current research projects examine how employment instability impacts families with children and their likelihood of involvement with child protective services. She also investigates the anti-poverty effects of safety net programs and their impact on the life circumstances of low- and middle-income families in the United States.
Prior to joining CEPR, Cai provided statistical analyses for numerous projects at IRP and contributed to reports for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. She also worked as a research assistant at the Columbia Population Research Center on the Poverty Tracker Project, and was a member of a joint research team between the UNICEF and the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Cross-National Data Center related to child poverty and social protection in middle-income countries. She holds an MSW from Columbia University, an MSc in urban studies from University College London.