College of Social Work Assistant Professor Dr. Stacia West, along with Dr. Amy Castro Baker, Assistant Professor at University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), were recently named as co-leaders of the Center for Guaranteed Income Research. The Center was established by Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), together with the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) .
Dr. West and Dr. Castro Baker served as the co-Principal Investigators of the first mayor-led guaranteed income pilot in Stockton, CA and leading academics in the space will guide pilot cities through a learning agenda and oversee the research design and implementation.
The goal of the new Center is to consolidate the key learnings from the pilots taking place in MGI member cities, to address knowledge gaps in the contemporary understanding of guaranteed income’s impact for Americans, and to allow the organization to layer data with anecdotal evidence in federal advocacy.
After the conclusion of each demonstration, MGI partner cities will release preliminary outcome evaluations prepared in partnership with the Center. After the conclusion of all MGI demonstrations, the Center will release a final report of national findings of all sites and all key research questions.
MGI member mayors are signing on to the learning agenda with an eye towards moving the needle on poverty and matching the urgency of our current economic moment with evidence-based policy proposals. This agenda builds on the existing body of cash-transfer literature, as well as the implementation and research lessons learned in Stockton to build an evidence rich pilot-to-policy pipeline.
Following in line with the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED), the first mayor-led guaranteed income demonstration in Stockton, California, the Center will release early snapshot data including demographics, spending behaviors, photographs, and videos on a public facing data visualization website. The dashboard will feature city-level filters, such that residents, city leaders, and policy-makers will view snapshot data from all participants, and then select their own city data to compare nationally and to others. Similar to what was built for SEED, the public-facing dashboard will be a critical tool to engage the public, ensure transparency and accountability in the research process, and elevate the topic of guaranteed income.
MGI has been awarded a $250,000 grant from Arrow Impact, a newly established private foundation focused on improving economic opportunity for low-income families and on improving the efficiency of the philanthropic ecosystem. The funds and leadership will support MGI as it builds capacity.