Laudan (Laudy) Aron, MA, is a Senior Fellow with the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center and co-directs Urban’s cross-center initiative on the Social Determinants of Health. She directed the groundbreaking 2013 study, Shorter Lives, Poorer Health, for the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine. That study documented a large and growing US “health disadvantage” affecting almost all Americans. Laudy first joined Urban in 1992 and has spent over 25 years conducting research and policy analysis on a wide range of social welfare issues, including health and disability, education, employment and training, housing and homelessness, and social protection and justice. Her work focuses on how social and economic conditions shape health and well-being, and how social welfare programs and policies (broadly defined) can best support healthy human development across the life course and over time and place.
Many factors influence the health and well-being of communities, including who can afford to live in them; local, state, and private-sector policies; and the availability of opportunities to live a healthy, engaged, and productive life. This project will seek to explain why some communities seem to have more opportunity and be healthier than others.
People who receive vouchers or other forms of federal or local housing assistance are not protected from discrimination by federal fair housing or civil rights laws, and in most places, landlords can legally refuse to rent to voucher holders. Researchers will assess whether and under what conditions state and local protections reduce landlord discrimination and improve the rate at which voucher holders are successful at finding housing.
Greater scheduling predictability may reduce parental stress and increase child care stability, job stability, and income. Researchers will use qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate the implementation of the Oregon law and analyze the impacts on family and child health outcomes.
Birth outcomes, including infant mortality and low birth weight, are shockingly poor in the U.S. Researchers will assess whether the ACA increased intended pregnancies, reduced prepregnancy smoking, and affected contraception and birth outcomes among women covered by Medicaid--and whether these changes reduced disparities across racial and ethnic groups.
Federal housing assistance benefits 11 million people through three main programs: public housing, project-based Section 8 housing, and housing choice vouchers. Researchers use multiple datasets to examine the effects of federal housing assistance programs on food security, health-promoting behaviors, and health outcomes.
While Earned Income Tax Credit expansions are typically associated with improvements in maternal mental health, little is known about the mechanisms through which the program affects this outcome. Anuj Gangopadhyaya, Fredric Blavin, Jason Gates, and Breno Braga of the Urban Institute assess the impact of more than two decades of federal expansions in EITC credits and the implementation of state-specific EITC programs on maternal mental health in a new working paper.