Income and Benefits Policy Center
Analyzing family financial security from childhood to retirement.

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    About Us
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    We give decisionmakers cru­cial information by predicting how policy changes will affect people, programs, and gov­ernment. As technological and demographic shifts transform the nature of jobs, our experts on postsecondary education and workforce development study what skills workers will need in the future and what challenges lie ahead for retir­ing baby boomers. And our research on how the social safety net encourages work and alleviates poverty helps policymakers determine the best use of scarce resources. 
    Learn more about this Policy Center
    Featured Experts
    Vice President, Income and Benefits Policy
    Principal Research Associate
    Principal Research Associate
    Senior Fellow

    Research Areas Social safety net
    Tags From Safety Net to Solid Ground
    Research Methods ATTIS Microsimulation Model

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    Our Issues

    We give decisionmakers cru­cial information by predicting how policy changes will affect people, programs, and gov­ernment. As technological and demographic shifts transform the nature of jobs, our experts on postsecondary education and workforce development study what skills workers will need in the future and what challenges lie ahead for retir­ing baby boomers. And our research on how the social safety net encourages work and alleviates poverty helps policymakers determine the best use of scarce resources. 

    Our Approach

    The Income and Benefits Policy Center is the birthplace of many of the Urban Institute’s signature microsimulation models, which allow researchers to explore policy “what if” questions. These models can predict how people, programs, and government will be affected by policy changes, giving decisionmakers crucial information about how proposals will play out.

    For example, the DYNASIM model provides a powerful tool for forecasting how the coming wave of baby boomer retirements will ripple across our economy and worsen the federal budget deficit. No other private research organization can rival our capacity to make projections and show how policies affect all categories of Americans.

    Our Impact

    Federal government agencies from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the Social Security Administration use our microsimulation models and research results when considering changes to a wide array of social programs. For example, our Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) model provided vital assistance to the Simpson-Bowles commission when they considered Social Security reforms.

    The TRIM model is regularly used by HHS when considering the costs, benefits, and distributional impacts of changes to programs serving low-income families. Nonfederal researchers also use TRIM to assess the impact of federal programs on poverty. Our research has laid the groundwork for important policy and programmatic changes. For example, our recent study of alternatives to reduce poverty for Wisconsin allowed policymakers in Milwaukee to understand the benefits of a transitional jobs program, which they later chose to support.

    In addition, we are making significant contributions to workforce development, helping provide a path to upward mobility for low-income families and securing the nation’s economic prosperity. Our research assesses implementation of workforce programs and evaluates whether these programs are leading to increased employment and wages. For example, our analysis of the Accelerating Opportunity program implementation led sponsors to refocus training efforts with program operators to assure fidelity to program models.

    Staff

    • Senior Research Associate
    • Equity Scholar
      Senior Research Associate
    • Vice President, Income and Benefits Policy
    • Research Assistant
    • Principal Research Associate
    • Visiting Fellow
    • Nonresident Senior Fellow
    • Principal Research Associate
    • Director, Center Operations
    • Principal Policy Associate
    • Senior Research Associate
    • Senior Fellow
    • Nonresident Fellow
    • Research Associate
    • Senior Policy Associate
    • Research Associate
    • Research Associate
    • Senior Fellow
    • Senior Fellow
    • Research Analyst
    • Senior Fellow
      Project Director for Maintenance and Development of the TRIM3 Model
    • Nonresident Fellow
    • Research Analyst
    • Nonresident Fellow
    • Research Associate
    • Policy Analyst
    • Senior Research Associate
    • Senior Fellow
      Director, Program on Retirement Policy
    • Research Analyst
    • Principal Research Associate
    • Research Analyst
    • Research Analyst
    • Senior Fellow
    • Nonresident Senior Fellow
    • Principal Research Associate
    • Principal Research Associate
    • Senior Research Associate
    • Institute Fellow
    • Research Analyst
    • Nonresident Fellow
    • Senior Fellow
    • Principal Research Associate
    • Senior Research Associate
    • Project Administrator
    • Senior Research Associate
    • Communications Coordinator
    • Research Assistant
    • Senior Policy Fellow
    • Senior Fellow
      Codirector, DYNASIM Microsimulation Model
    • Project Manager
    • Senior Fellow
    • Institute Fellow and Richard B. Fisher Chair
    • Senior Fellow
    • Research Associate
    • Senior Fellow
    • Senior Data Scientist
    • Research Analyst
    • Senior Project Manager