Director, Low-Income Working Families Initiative
I became an economist because I wanted to examine the factors that contribute to inequality and help identify ways to increase opportunity. Urban is a place where I can do that kind of work and know that important findings will be given visibility in places that matter.
Margaret Simms is an Institute fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute, where she directs the Low-Income Working Families project. A nationally recognized expert on the economic well-being of African Americans, her current work focuses on low-income families, with an emphasis on employment and asset building.
Before joining Urban in 2007, Simms was vice president for governance and economic analysis at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. She began working at the joint center in 1986 as deputy director of research and held positions of increasing responsibility during her 20-year tenure. From May 1 through December 31, 2006, she served as interim president. Before joining the staff of the joint center, she was a program director at Urban.
In 2005, Simms was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; in 2008, she received the Samuel Z. Westerfield Award from the National Economic Association. She was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Carleton College, Minnesota, in 2010.
Simms holds a BA in economics from Carleton College and a PhD in economics from Stanford University.
Research Report Income and WealthBrett Theodos, Christina Plerhoples Stacy, Margaret Simms, Katya Abazajian, Rebecca Daniels, Devlin Hanson, Amanda Hahnel, Joanna Smith-RamaniSeptember 7, 2016
Brief Race and EthnicityMay 10, 2016
Brief ChildrenFebruary 23, 2016
Brief Race and EthnicityJanuary 11, 2016
Structural Barriers to Racial Equity in Pittsburgh: Expanding Economic Opportunity for African American Men and BoysNovember 20, 2015
Barriers and Bridges: An Action Plan for Overcoming Obstacles and Unlocking Opportunities for African American Men in PittsburghNovember 20, 2015
Research Report Education and TrainingBrett Theodos, Margaret Simms, Mark Treskon, Christina Plerhoples Stacy, Rachel Brash, Dina Emam, Rebecca Daniels, Juan CollazosOctober 6, 2015
Tackling Structural Barriers dnd Building Bridges of Opportunity for African American Men in PittsburghOctober 1, 2015
Research Report Adolescents and YouthFebruary 17, 2015