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Pamela J. Loprest

Pamela J. Loprest

Senior fellow

My mission is to provide solid information to policy debates on how our country can improve the lives of working families and those facing difficulties gaining and maintaining employment.


Pamela Loprest is a senior fellow and labor economist in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute. Loprest studies how to structure programs and policies to better support work among low-income families, especially those with work-related challenges, including research on families disconnected from work and welfare and persons with disabilities. She leads the evaluation of state efforts to improve their work support public benefit systems through the Work Support Strategies project, which works with states to improve their Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, child care, and other program benefit eligibility and retention systems. Loprest is currently Urban’s project lead for evaluation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants to serve Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients and other low-income individuals. She has experience in quantitative analysis of secondary data and administrative data, and qualitative methods studying public benefit programs.

Loprest is a nationally known expert in welfare policy and research. She is coauthor of the book Leaving Welfare: Employment and Well-Being of Families that Left Welfare in the Post-Entitlement Era, with Gregory Acs.

She received her PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.